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Trojans march into PIAA finals - Baseball

June 15, 2004|By ANDREW MASON

HERSHEY, Pa. - If Chambersburg senior Irvin Sleighter doesn't beat a team with his arm, he can just as easily do it with his bat.Monday, he pummeled Hempfield from every direction as the Trojans knocked off the Black Knights 4-1 in the PIAA Class AAA baseball state semifinals.

Sleighter (11-0) scattered six hits over seven innings while striking out 11 and walking one. He also had two hits and three RBI.

"Irvin pitched very well, as he usually does," said Bob Thomas, who's in his 40th season as Chambersburg coach. "Lately, he's really come through for us hitting-wise. He's had 10 RBI in the last three games."

His effort Monday helped Chambersburg avenge its 3-1 loss to Hempfield in the District 3 final.

"Hempfield's a good team. They play good defense and they have good pitching," Thomas said. "After they beat us, we basically said that all we need now is a four-game winning streak."

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Three down, one to go. Chambersburg (24-4) plays either Peters Township or Kiski Area (their semifinal was suspended after two innings Monday night) for the state title on Friday at Commerce Bank Park on City Island in Harrisburg. Game time is 4 p.m.

It will be the Trojans' fourth appearance in a state final. They won titles in 1984 and 1999 and finished second in 1979.

Monday, they had to go against Hempfield's previously unbeaten ace, Austin Hinkle (13-1).

Chambersburg wasted little time with its bats, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Andy Carter led off with a walk, Jared Olson doubled and Sleighter followed with a two-run single.

The Trojans made it 3-0 in the second on Andrew Burke's solo home run to right-center field and 4-0 in the third as Olson walked, stole second, went to third on an error and scored on a double by Sleighter.

Hempfield (25-5) scored its one run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Drew Pare and Jordan Herr.

- Andrew Mason

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