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Eagles fare well with Jefferson

April 20, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - After being shut out three times and in the midst of a 10-game losing streak to Jefferson, the Hedgesville Eagles were about ready to let some wings fly.

Matt Yurish allowed only a first-inning hit and crushed a three-run homer to help the Eagles (9-4) rolled to an 11-1 victory in five innings, concluded when Duncan Williams ripped his second two-run double to end the recent famine.

"I really wasn't aware we had lost 10 straight," Hedgesville coach Ben Merica said. "I didn't have to do a lot of coaching tonight. The boys just went out and enjoyed themselves."

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Yurish was a tad shaky at the outset, walking Jefferson leadoff batter Will Grantham, who went to second on a passed ball and eventually scored on a one-out grounder by Josh Simons. The Eagles' lefty went on to retire 13 of the next 14 batters and ended with eight strikeouts to post his third win without a loss.

"I pitched well enough to win," Yurish said. "I was still trying to get loose at the start of the game. Facing a team like Jefferson, you want to keep the ball in play, but I was surprised at getting that many strikeouts."

The blast by Yurish, who said he had a fast ball down the middle of the plate, capped a four-run first inning off Jefferson sophomore Jordan Diehl (2-1), who last to the top of the second when Bryce Blair tripled and Tony Powell doubled, the first of his three hits with one against each of Jefferson's three pitchers.

Williams greeted Kylee Griffith with a two-run double and scored on Travis Whitford's single before Griffith settled down, allowing only a fourth-inning home run by Powell.

With Gage Levac pitching for Jefferson (11-5) in the fifth, Cody Seibert and Powell had singles, Blair walked before Williams' second double, a liner to right-center, capped Hedgesville's night.

"I was looking for anything down the middle all night," said Powell, who along with Blair gave Hedgesville some pop in the last two spots in the order.

"I don't know if we'll change or not, but we need production in the two and five spots, and Blair and Powell may be going there," Merica said. "But it might be tough to change while we're going good."

After two walks helped set the table for Hedgesville in the first inning, Jefferson coach John Lowery went to the mound to chat with Diehl.

"I just told him to relax and play the game," Lowery said. "He's young and learning. This is the best team he's faced this year. Tonight Hedgesville hit 1-through-9 in the order and Yurish did a nice job."

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