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Haines brims over to cap Waynesboro

August 08, 1998|By DAN SPEARS

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Hagerstown's pitcher just misses no-hitter but stays in total control to move the Gray into the Pony League East Zone Tournament finals.

Most people have their emotions on their sleeve. Derek Haines wears his on his hat.

When Haines' no-hit bid was ruined in the bottom of the seventh Friday night, the hat went flying to the ground in frustration. When Haines finished with a one-hitter four pitches later, it was tipped to the fans in appreciation.

Haines also capped off Hagerstown Gray's 8-1 victory over Waynesboro (Pa.) with a two-run single, moving Hagerstown into the final of the Pony League East Zone Tournament at Funkhouser Park today at 6 p.m.

Haines' fastball was simply too much for Waynesboro. The big right-hander struck out 10, and every ball put into play was hit to the opposite field.

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"I wasn't doing anything special," Haines said. "He (Hagerstown coach Rick Suder) was calling the pitches; I was getting them out."

"He's a good pitcher, you can't take anything away from him," said Waynesboro manager Ed Kirkpatrick, whose squad will face Danville (Va.) in the loser's bracket final at 3:30 today. "But I don't think we acted like we were hungry out there, either."

After getting a run in the first on two Waynesboro errors, Hagerstown looked like it wanted to eat its collective hat.

Josh Keyton was robbed of extra bases in the second, and after Matt Johnson was hit by a pitch to start the third, he was picked off by Jesse Capino.

But with two outs in the third, two walks and a single loaded the bases for Keyton, who smashed a ball down the left-field line for two runs and a 3-0 lead. Keyton also drove in a run in the fifth with a solid single to center.

"We got the key hits tonight," Suder said. "Our concentration was much better when we were behind in the count tonight, and that's what you need to be successful."

Hagerstown tacked on four more in the sixth, but Waynesboro made it 8-1 in the bottom half on a walk, an error and a wild pitch, leaving the stage to Haines and his no-hitter.

That's when Waynesboro finally decided to throw its hat into the offensive ring on Nick Sanders' single to right field to lead off the seventh.

Haines knew immediately that the no-hitter was gone, but picked up his hat and got encouragement from teammate Billy Keyes.

"He came up and said to not worry about it," Haines said. "He said to just go out and smoke him."

Haines smoked Ethan Rager on three pitches before Keyes made a spectacular overhead catch to start a game-ending double play that left Hagerstown one win away from the Pony World Series.

"We're not talking about that yet," Suder said. "Both teams left are capable of getting hot ... so we'll be ready."

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