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New season, same story - Cougars own Martinsburg

April 12, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - The only thing new in Tuesday's latest installment of the Martinsburg-Jefferson baseball rivalry was the Sager Field scoreboard.

Otherwise, it was the same ol', same ol' ... a six-inning, 11-1 victory for the No. 3 Cougars, making it nine straight over the No. 4 Bulldogs over the last several seasons.

Brian Collins pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and went 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI to lead Jefferson (10-1).

"I had a lot of adrenaline at the beginning of the game," Collins said. "It was a big game, with a lot on the line with home field for sectionals."

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"He's a veteran guy who's been through the wars," said Cougars coach John Lowery, now 4-0 against son John Lowery Jr., Martinsburg's second-year coach. "These games in the regular season are important for establishing home field for the playoffs."

Brandon Piper singled, doubled and drove in two runs, while Joe Wilt added two hits for Jefferson. The Cougars took advantage of 12 walks and four hit batters, with seven of those runners scoring.

"We've got to throw strikes most of all and give ourselves a chance," said Lowery Jr. "We make plays defensively. We have young guys on the mound who don't have a lot of experience."

Collins struck out the side in three different innings - including the second, when he got out of a bases-loaded jam after Jefferson committed three of its four errors. After a 1-2-3 first inning, his solo home run to just right of straightaway center in the bottom of the first got the Cougars rolling.

"I was in a little funk the last couple of days, but it looks like it's back where it needs to be," said Collins of his swing. He said of the pitch he homered on, "It was a fastball and I wasn't expecting it, but I got it and drove it."

"We haven't been as consistent as I'd like us to be defensively, but we hit enough," Lowery said. "It's a good win."

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