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Rockets staying inspired

April 30, 1999|By MARK KELLER

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Dwayne Mummert is never far from Josh Ebersole's thoughts. The white number '2' the James Buchanan baseball team wears on its hats helps see to that.

But Ebersole doesn't need a numeral to remember Mummert, his best friend and teammate who was killed in a car accident last year.

"It feels like he's right there beside me on every pitch," Ebersole said.

That may have been what helped Ebersole get through Friday afternoon's game. The junior threw a complete-game five-hitter despite abdomen pains to help the Rockets to a 4-2 win over Camp Hill in a Mid Penn Colonial game.

"We dedicated it all to him, because he was a guy that never gave up," said Ebersole. "So we're going to do the same thing and not give up."

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And the Rockets did not give up. They took advantage of the opportunities Camp Hill (7-4, 4-3) presented them, particularly in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Trailing 2-1, they loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a bunt single by Brad Myers that bounced right over the glove of Camp Hill starter Nate Capp.

Dusty Wolf's grounder got by shortstop Glenn Gale, scoring two runs and moving Myers to third to give James Buchanan (6-5, 4-3) its first lead. Justin Ayers grounded to Gale, whose throw pulled the first baseman off the bag and allowed Myers to score.

From there, the game was in Ebersole's hands. He gave up two hits over the final three innings and stranded two Camp Hill runners in both the fifth and sixth innings. He struck out eight, with five coming after the Rockets took the lead.

"Josh really gutted one out today. He wasn't near 100 percent," said James Buchanan coach Rodney Bennett.

Ebersole was still recovering from a one-hit, 15-strikeout game he threw at Boiling Springs on Monday. Bennett said Ebersole uses his abs more in his motion than most pitchers, which led to his soreness on Friday.

"Josh was struggling in the last two innings, but he wanted to finish," Bennett said. "His fastball didn't have that pop on it, and his curve was up. But he got away with it."

Bennett said he thought about relieving Ebersole, but the pitcher wanted no part of that.

"It started to hurt a little bit," Ebersole said. "But I had to do this for the team and Dwayne."

Ayers and Myers accounted for all of the Rockets' hits with two apiece.

Chris McGovern drove in both runs for Camp Hill.

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