Hard-charging 'Dogs run out of gas vs. Lipscomb, Cougars

May 16, 2001

Hard-charging 'Dogs run out of gas vs. Lipscomb, Cougars


Jefferson 4

Martinsburg 1



Ganoe, Bartley (6) and Twigg. Lipscomb and Noll. WP - Lipscomb (11-1). LP - Gano (2-2).

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - The Jefferson Cougars were well aware of what Martinsburg had done in its last two playoff victories.

The Bulldogs mounted final at-bat rallies against Musselman and Hedgesville to reach Tuesday's Region II Section 1 final at Sager Field.


But, as one Cougar shouted following Jefferson's 4-1 win over the Bulldogs, "There's no comebacks tonight."

Jefferson ace Ryan Lipscomb saw to that. Lipscomb (11-1) fired a two-hit gem, eliminating the Bulldogs on just 86 pitches and lifting the Cougars (32-5-1, No. 1 Herald-Mail poll) to their sixth straight section title and 18th overall. He struck out eight and walked none.

"That's his forte. He throws the ball across the plate and has just enough on it to get it past the hitters," said Jefferson coach John Lowery. "He's getting to the point where he knows what he wants to do out there."

He did need some encouragement early on, though.

Lowery had his first conference with Lipscomb just two pitches into the game. Both pitches were out of the strike zone.

Catcher Matt Noll made several trips to the mound throughout the game. Each time, Lipscomb answered with a strike and regained his composure.

"I just get going a little too fast out there and they need to slow me down," Lipscomb said. "(Matt) tells me what I'm doing wrong. It's pretty effective. It was tonight."

Corey Gano (2-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing one earned run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked four and hit two batters.

Gano had little help behind him defensively, however, as the Bulldogs (19-10) committed seven errors.

"We gave them way too many chances," said Martinsburg coach Dennis Etherington. "They take advantage of every opportunity. Corey did a nice job of keeping them off balance. Had we made the plays defensively, it might have been different."

Lowery wasn't convinced Jefferson took advantage of all of its opportunities. In fact, the Cougars ran themselves out of two innings.

In the third, Jefferson had two runners picked off to end a scoring threat. In the fifth, Martinsburg turned a double play off of a dropped fly ball that a Jefferson runner gave up on.

"You'd never believe I gave a specch at a national convention on baserunning after seeing that," Lowery said.

Despite the extra lives Martinsburg supplied Jefferson, the Bulldogs came to the plate in the top of the seventh with a chance to repeat their recent past.

Mike Quinn laced a two-out double to left field to keep the Bulldogs' fading hopes alive, but Lipscomb fanned Justin Walther to end the game and Martinsburg's season.

"In the previous games, we were successful (in coming back) by crowding the plate and taking a pitch," Etherington said. "We knew we wouldn't be able to do that with Lipscomb."

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