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Cougars go on the Rhodes again

April 28, 1999

Jefferson vs. MusselmanBy MARK KELLER / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - There's a good reason the Mussleman baseball team has won 13 games this year - offense, and lots of it.

The No. 8 Applemen are hitting around .330 as a team and have three players batting .400 or better - including one over .600.

[cont. from sports page]

And that brings us to how Jefferson has won 18 games this year - pitching, and lots of it.

The No. 1 Cougars got more of the same Tuesday night as Jimmy Rhodes shut down Musselman on two hits for a 7-1 Jefferson victory.

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Rhodes overpowered the Applemen at times, giving them fits trying to catch up with his fastball. He struck out 10, walked four and retired 11 of 13 after allowing a fourth-inning solo home run by Aaron Mueller.

"I thought Jimmy threw the ball well," said Jefferson coach John Lowery. "Musselman has some good hitters at the top of their lineup, and their first six hitters were right there on him early in the game. But when he stayed ahead in the count, he was successful."

In that case, Rhodes was successful most of the night. Musselman (13-4) mounted its only serious challenge in the top of the third inning, but the Cougars' defense bailed out its pitcher.

Keith Keller reached on a fielder's choice and Mike Hudson got the first hit off Rhodes with two outs. Todd Mosby to load the bases, but he was forced out at second on a hard grounder by Willy Williams.

"Williams hit a shot, it just went right at the shortstop (Eric Smoot). He made a nice play on it," said Musselman coach Jeff Cunningham.

While Smoot provided the big defensive play in the third, he gave the Cougars (18-3) all the offense they would need in the first. Josh Green singled and Josh Cenate walked to set up Smoot's one-out three-run homer off Brian Bowers, giving Jefferson a 3-0 lead.

"He hit a pretty good pitch, a curveball down and in. Brian made a good pitch and Smoot put a good swing on the ball," said Cunningham.

The Cougars added a run in the second on three Musselman errors, then scored three in the bottom of the fourth to close the scoring. Ethan Osbourn and Chris Brooks singled and Josh Green tripled down the right-field line to drive in two. Green, who had two hits and three RBIs, later scored on a wild pitch.

"He can run ... and he's starting to swing the bat a little bit," said Lowery. "This is his first year as a starter and I think he's starting to develop at the plate."

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