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Trojans' Sleighter shuts out Eagles

April 03, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Cumberland Valley baseball team has to be glad it doesn't have to make any more trips to Franklin County this season.

One week after the Waynesboro Indians beat Eagles ace Ryan Loper 6-5, CV came out on the short end of another one-run Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division thriller at Chambersburg on Thursday.

This time, Loper - last year's Commonwealth MVP - was outdueled by Irv Sleighter. The Trojans junior pitched a complete-game shutout with 10 strikeouts, while scattering five singles and walking none, as Chambersburg won, 1-0.

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"We played well in both games and had opportunities to win both games, but we didn't get it done," said CV coach Mike Whitehead, whose squad fell to 2-2 (1-2). "We showed we can play with the top teams, we just need the breaks. Either game could have gone either way. Loper could be 2-0."

Loper also went the distance Thursday, allowing three hits and two walks while fanning eight.

"It came down to a pitchers' game. Both teams knew what to expect," said Sleighter. "Loper's the MVP and I'm up-and-coming. ... My fastball was working pretty tough. I had a lot of pop in it and kept them off-balance a bit with the curve, and the defense behind me was good."

And the Chambersburg offense was just good enough.

With the game still scoreless, Trojan Andy Carter led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a triple to deep center for his team's third hit of the game and first since Beau Cook's two-out single in the second. Two batters later, Carter scored the game's lone run on Drew McGwin's sacrifice fly to left field.

Sleighter retired the Eagles in order in the top of the seventh with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout, as the four-time defending District 3-AAA champs remained unbeaten in the division at 2-0 (2-1).

"Cumberland Valley's got a good ball club. They always play us tough," said Trojans coach Bob Thomas. "It was a good high school ball game. Anytime you have a 1-0 game, you had good pitching and good fielding on both sides.

"Hopefully, we'll start hitting the ball a little bit better, but we did face a pretty good pitcher."

Chambersburg didn't commit an error, while CV made just one.

The Eagles staged their biggest threat in the fourth, as Loper and Dan Funt each singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. But John Neurohr failed to lay down the sacrifice bunt and struck out. After a fielder's choice put runners on the corners, Sleighter fanned Ryan Henderson to end the inning.

Loper went 2-for-3 to lead CV.

McGwin hit a two-out triple to right-center field in the first for the Trojans' other hit.

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