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Rebels rout Warriors in 5

April 15, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

It was almost as if the South Hagerstown bats caught malaria in the bottom of the fourth inning Monday.

The hitting fever spread that rapidly.

The Rebels began the inning with five straight hits and tacked on three more before it ended, sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight times on their way to an 11-1 five-inning Monocacy Valley Athletic League baseball win over No. 10 Boonsboro (4-3, 4-3).

"We were seeing the ball well and everyone contributed. Whenever everybody on this team contributes, we win," said Mike Campbell, who went 3-for-3 with a triple, double, two RBI and three runs scored to pace South (5-3, 5-3). "They beat us by one run last time (8-7 on March 24), so everyone was fired up to play."

Rebels starting pitcher Ben Mertz kept the fire going, hurling a complete-game two-hitter to improve to 3-0. He struck out four, walked two and allowed no earned runs.

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Perhaps more importantly, Mertz didn't get rattled as Boonsboro jumped out to a 1-0 first-inning lead on Nate Himes' leadoff double and a pair of errors by the South infield.

"I thought it was a bad sign. We usually field the ball pretty well," said Mertz. "But after we came in and scored some runs, I knew everything was all right."

South went up 2-1 in its half of the first on RBI singles by Campbell and Daniel Lynn and extended it to 3-1 in the third off Warriors starter Craig Henson, as Campbell led off with a triple and scored on Phillip Powell's groundout. But the Rebels missed an opportunity to break it open, as Boonsboro reliever Alex Malphrus got out of a bases-loaded jam - much to South coach Ralph Stottlemyer's chagrin.

"Last time we played them, we left the bases loaded three times," said Stottlemyer. "You just hope your boys will be patient and wait for their pitch."

Stottlemyer got his wish in the fourth, as the Rebels patiently sprayed the field against Malphrus with six singles, an RBI double by Campbell and a two-run double by Mertz.

Bryson Appel, David Miner, Lynn and Mertz each finished with two hits for South.

"We've been really flat recently," said Warriors coach Fred Kreiger. "We're a team that relies on pitching and defense, but we didn't get the pitches we needed. We were leaving the ball up and they were rocking us."

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