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It wasn't pretty, but No. 3 Jefferson will take it

April 08, 2006|By TIM KOELBLE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.

Jefferson baseball coach John Lowery had a simple analysis of Friday's weather-delayed 11-6 victory over Hedgesville.

"It was sloppy, ugly, but it was a win," he said after the No. 3 Cougars (7-1) dispatched Hedgesville before and after a one-hour weather delay set in during the top of the fifth inning.

No. 7 Hedgesville (6-5) outhit the Cougars 9-8 but the Eagles were guilty of four critical errors that led to seven unearned runs and Jefferson combined those opportunities with eight walks to forge the win.

"We only gave up three or four earned runs, five of the walks scored and we just need to play some defense," lamented Hedgesville coach Ben Merica. "We didn't have a problem hitting some good (Jefferson) pitching."

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Three singles, combined with two Jefferson errors, gave Hedgesville a 3-0 lead in the top of the second against Cougars starter Justin Carey.

However, Jonathan Hash helped take the momentum away from Hedgesville in the bottom of the inning, crushing a two-run home run to get the Cougars rolling. Brandon Piper followed with a double and later scored on a single by Brendan McLaughlin, who later scored on a bases-loaded walk to give the Cougars a 4-3 lead.

"That home run got us some momentum and a couple of quick runs and back in the game," said Lowry.

Hedgesville took a 5-4 lead in the top of the third on a double by Justin Everhart, a Jefferson error and a double by Josh Lebo.

Again, Jefferson returned the favor with three in the third for a 7-5 lead as it used a walk, hit batsman, error, sacrifice fly by Bobby O'Donnell, run-scoring single by Matt Tiano and run-scoring double by McLaughlin.

After Hedgesville scored a single run in the top of the fourth off reliever Brian Collins, weather stepped in and the teams stepped out.

With a 7-6 lead, Robert Ahalt on base and one out, Lebo singled but Collins induced Andrew Shaffer to hit into a double play.

Jefferson salted the game away with a quick four-spot in the fifth with plenty of help from Hedgesville.

With Joe Wilt's single the only hit of the inning, Jefferson had three walks off Logan Clark, three Hedgesville errors and a hit batsmen.

"Carey has thrown some good games for us but he got a little frustrated," said Lowry. "Collins did a good job finishing up."

Collins hurled the final four innings, allowing three hits and walking only one while striking out four.

Jacob Riner took the loss for Hedgesville with 2 2/3 innings, but only four of the seven runs he allowed were earned. Clark went three innings in relief and struck out five in his first pitching in 11 days.

McLaughlin and Wilt each had two hits for the Cougars and McLaughlin also had two RBI. Lebo led Hedgesville with three hits.

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