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Rumbaugh's power too much for Clear Spring

April 22, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER

CLEAR SPRING - Coming off a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to Williamsport on Tuesday, Smithsburg was in need of a quick remedy.

Wayne Rumbaugh provided it, blasting two home runs - one of which was a grand slam - as the Leopards rolled past Clear Spring 9-3 in MVAL Antietam action Wednesday.

"We were coming off a rough loss and I just wanted to do something to help out the team," Rumbaugh said. "It's a real confidence builder to be able to rebound like this."

It was the third home run in the past two games for Rumbaugh, who also hit one in the loss to Williamsport.

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"Wayne's been swinging the bat real well as of late," said Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes. "As a team we've been hitting the ball hard."

Rumbaugh's first homer came in the bottom of the first. After leadoff batter Drew Crawford reach on an error, Joe Acre flied to center field for the first out. Rumbaugh then stepped in and sent the first pitch he saw over the center-field fence for a 2-0 lead.

After picking up a run in the third, the Leopards (6-4, 3-3) scored six more during a two-out rally in the fourth, highlighted by Rumbaugh's grand slam for a 9-0 advantage.

The support was plenty for Leopards starter Josh Daniels, who pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, before yielding three runs to the Blazers (4-7, 2-6) in the sixth. He retired the side in the seventh for the complete- game win.

"Josh pitched a great game," Fowkes said. "He piched well in his last outing against Boonsboro but took a tough loss. I'm glad we were able to put some runs on the board to give him a nice lead."

"(Josh) deserves all the credit in the world, but we really came out flat," said Blazers coach Mark Shives. "We need to have some of our seniors step up and that just hasn't happened for much of the year."

Clear Spring's only serious threat came in Daniels' shaky sixth inning.

Following singles by Zeb Jacobs and Cory Baker, pinch-hitter Larry Hose hit a ground-rule double to right-centerfield scoring Jacobs. Baker later scored on a passed ball and Hose scored when Cody Beard reached on an error with no outs. Daniels finally composed himself to retire the final three batters.

Beard started for Clear Spring, but lasted just over three innings. Baker relieved Beard and pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings.

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