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'Dogs enjoy home cookin'

April 05, 2002|BY BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Heat was not readily available at P.O. Faulkner Park Thursday night when the Martinsburg and Musselman baseball teams played for a second time this season.

But the Bulldogs didn't need it, overcoming frigid temperatures and three errors to whip the Applemen 10-4 for their third straight victory.

Joey Yurish blasted a 2-2 fastball over the right centerfield fence with two on and the Bulldogs (6-3) never lost control. Martinsburg's Keith Holton pitched a solid five innings, scattering five hits and holding the Applemen in check behind the stellar infield play of Mike Ware.

Ware, moved to shortstop just this week, turned two double plays with Musselman runners in scoring position. Ware also laced a triple to the fence in right field in the third inning.

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"We moved Blaine Durst to third for defensive reasons and put Mike at short," Martinsburg coach Dennis Etherington said. "But I can't pinpoint just one kid on this team. They have all contributed when they are called upon."

Both teams kept up a torrid pace with the bats, combining for 24 hits, including six extra-base knocks. But both coaches agreed that the game hinged on solid defense and missed opportunities.

"We played great defense," Musselman coach Jeff Cunningham said. "But Martinsburg took advantage of several missed opportunities on our part to extend those big innings."

The Bulldogs did the most damage with the least amount of chances.

In the first inning, Musselman starter Brandon Combs got two quick outs, but Brett Twigg's looping single to left started a landslide.

Justin Walther walked on a full count and Yurish made him pay with his three-run homer, maintaining a trend Etherington has enjoyed watching.

"The kids started hitting the ball well just this week," Etherington said. "I guess we are seeing it better, getting some confidence."

Already down 4-0, the Applemen (4-6) watched their hopes take a serious tumble in the third with five more Martinsburg runs.

The Bulldogs got seven hits in the inning and used one minor miscue - a liner that got past a Musselman outfielder - to blow things open.

"Our kids worked hard at the plate tonight," Etherington said. "Looking back this season, I think they see our hitting the ball like this would have given us a better start."

Martinsburg 10, Musselman 4

Muss'man 000 202 0 - 4 11 0

Mart'burg 315 010 x - 10 13 3

Combs, Price (2), Kees (3) and Miller. Holton, Beard (6) and Twigg, Spatero (6). WP-Holton (1-0). LP-Combs (1-2). HR-Mar: Yurish (1st, two on).

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