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Applemen rally lets 'Dogs feel real rotten

March 26, 1999|By DAN KAUFFMAN

BUNKER HILL, W.Va - Martinsburg's baseball team played two roles in one game Thursday night.

Through their first inning and a half, the Bulldogs played "Jekyll," taking an early 7-1 lead on Musselman.

Then they decided to "Hyde," as Musselman scored 14 unanswered runs in the next five innings to take a 15-7 victory in the Applemen's season opener.

"I told them that Musselman is a team that will keep coming back at you," Martinsburg coach Dennis Etherington said. "So no matter how far ahead we should happen to get, we've got to have a killer instinct ..."

At first, the Bulldogs (1-1) appeared to have it, as they showed their fangs to the Applemen (1-0) in the top of the first in the form of three quick runs. Alex Miller hit a one-out double to score the first two runs of the inning.

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Musselman got one back, but Martinsburg growled again, in the form of a four-run second behind a two-run homer from Kevin Clark.

"We came out here like gangbusters, hitting the devil out of the baseball," Etherington said.

But it was Musselman's turn to bedevil the Bulldogs.

With one out in the bottom of the second, Zach Boyd singled, and Kenny Staney and Rodney Hanes drew walks to load the bases. Keith Keller singled to drive in Boyd, and a sacrifice fly then sent Stanley home and Hanes to third.

Todd Mosby struck out to seemingly end the inning, but the ball got past catcher Trevor Shade, and Hanes scored as Keller moved to third and Mosby to first. Martinsburg's Warren Brown balked on a pickoff move, allowing Keller to score and Mosby to move to second.

Willy Williams then clubbed a home run to left-center to complete the comeback.

"We have a lot of confidence in ourselves, that we can come back," Musselman coach Jeff Cunningham said. "Our bats were excellent today."

So was Brian Bowers, who relieved Musselman starter Aaron Mueller in the third inning. He held Martinsburg scoreless through the final five innings on two singles and three walks. He struck out eight to pick up the win.

"It's a 30-game season," Cunningham said. "You don't get too excited about one win or too down about one loss... every game we just try to get better... we definitely did that here today."

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