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Jefferson moves on: Cougars 10-run 'Dogs, get Applemen next

May 20, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Jefferson moves on: Cougars 10-run 'Dogs, get Applemen next

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - The time came for Sam Walls to wait.

Once he did, the Jefferson High designated hitter didn't have to do it for long or make a habit of it.

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Walls turned on the first pitch he saw from Warren Brown and drilled it to dead center field for a three-run home run Saturday to start Jefferson on its way to a five-inning, 10-0 victory over Martinsburg at Eagle Field to win the W.Va. Class AAA Region II Section 1 title.

"I haven't had a hit in three games," said Walls, who had two hits and four RBI. "I decided I was going to wait for a pitch I could drive. I hit it good. It felt good and I didn't have to wait long."

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Walls' blast took any assemblence of waiting - and suspense - out of the game. With one swing, Martinsburg's momentum from Thursday's 12-7 win, Jefferson's antsiness and the best-of-3 series were all over.

Josh Green led off the first with a walk before being eliminated on Chris Brooks' grounder. After Jimmy Rhodes drew a two-out walk, Walls' wait lasted about as long as it took for Brown to release the ball.

"A walk, a fielder's choice, another walk and then the kid hits a home run ... it just goes to show that walks will kill you," Martinsburg coach Dennis Etherington said. "They scored seven more after that, but those three made the difference. Walls gave us trouble earlier this year. Walls, Rhodes and (Darnell) Lee hurt us this week."

Walls' homer turned the game over to Rhodes, Jefferson's starting pitcher who will be attending Oklahoma State in the fall. He allowed five singles and walked one, but was never really threatened in his 70-pitch outing.

Jefferson (29-5) advances to Tuesday's Region II semfinals against Musselman at 6:30 p.m. in Shenandoah Junction.

"The kids came out and responded tonight," Jefferson coach John Lowery said. "They had a goal in mind. It helped to get out to a quick start and that three-run home run helped take the momentum they might have carried over from the other night and got us going."

"We knew we had Rhodes on the mound and all we needed was a couple of runs," Walls said. "We tried to find a spark. We wanted to come out and change the game."

Jefferson (29-5) added a single run in the third against Brown on Walls' RBI single. Raymond Snow started the fourth for Martinsburg (14-12) and was greeted by Brandon Ballenger's run-scoring double to the left-center field fence.

Ballenger helped the Cougars end the game in the fifth with a monstrous two-run home run to left. Ethan Osbourn drove home Josh Green with the game-ending run.

Jefferson 10, Martinsburg 0




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Brown, Snow (4) and Cummings; Rhodes and D. Lee. WP-Rhodes. LP-Brown. HR-J: Walls (1st, two on), Ballenger (5th, one on).

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