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Cenate strikes often for Cougars

June 03, 1999

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Jefferson's Josh Cenate showed why the Baltimore Orioles selected him in this week's amateur baseball draft.

The senior left-hander had a career-high 19 strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over St. Albans on Thursday night in the Class AAA semifinals at Watt Powell Park.

Jefferson (31-4) will seek its second straight state title and fifth of the decade tonight when it plays Hurricane (27-9), a 4-2 winner over Buckhannon-Upshur in the other semifinal.

''This is not my best game,'' Cenate said. ''If I was going to rate my performance: no speed from the beginning. I don't know why, but my back has been hurting from lifting, so I've taken the last two weeks off from that.

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''But I feel I hit my spots good and I only had a few bad pitches.''

St. Albans did outhit Jefferson 5-2, but St. Albans was victimized by its own fielding in the fifth inning.

With Jefferson leading 1-0, Eric Smoot singled and eventually scored on a passed ball. Mike Moulton walked and later scored on an error by St. Albans shortstop Cory Davis.

Two batters later, third baseman Jake Perdue's throwing error on a grounder by Josh Green allowed another run to score for a 4-0 lead.

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