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Wines uncorks a gem against Applemen

March 30, 2007|by JOHN O'BRIEN / Staff Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A musician hopes rhythm and tempo can lead to a lot of hits.

Martinsburg pitcher Jake Wines desires the opposite result, and got his wish Thursday night against Musselman.

The senior right-hander pitched into the seventh, allowing only one hit while striking out five as the unbeaten Bulldogs blanked Musselman 5-0 at P.O. Faulkner Park.

The keys to Wines' performance, according to coach John Lowery Jr., were rhythm and tempo.

"I thought his tempo was real good on the mound. He was ahead of a lot of hitters," he said. "We played pretty good defense behind him. When you throw strikes and have rhythm and tempo, the defense will play pretty good too."

Wines (2-0) gave up Jesse Miner's single in the first inning, then retired the next 11 batters before he hit Alex Loizos leading off the fifth with a 3-0 lead.

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Musselman (1-3) loaded the bases on a couple of errors, but Wines struck out Jeremy Cunningham and got Ricky Frame to ground out, ending the threat.

"To his credit, he got the strikeout and produced the groundball. He didn't panic. That's a good sign of maturity," Lowery said.

Wines walked the first two batters in the seventh, and sophomore Brad Beebe got the final three outs to improve Martinsburg's record to 5-0.

Lowery said a shutout would have been nice for Wines, but, "He wasn't even close in the seventh. I wanted to get him out of there to make sure he wouldn't mess up a good game."

For Musselman, it was another frustrating offensive performance. The Applemen have scored only seven runs in their first four games.

"We're really not hitting as well as I'd like to be," coach Jeff Sibole said. "We're starting to come around a little. We hit the ball a lot sharper than in our last three games.

"We're struggling a little bit. It's there, inside the kids. I think they're pressing a little bit."

Martinsburg got much of its offense from the bottom of its batting order. No. 7 hitter T.J. Weisenberg had an RBI double off the glove of third baseman Blaine Coates in the second inning, and Wines followed with a single that scored Noon Jordan.

No. 9 hitter Kaylor Hedges added a sacrifice fly to plate Weisenburg and make it 3-0.

In the fifth, Hedges singled and scored on Zach Newhouse's double to left field that made it 4-0, a lead that increased in the sixth when Wines walked and courtesy runner Jordan Mason stole second base and scored on Hedges' infield single.

Musselman starter Ricky Frame gave up the first four runs, pitching 4 1/3 innings while allowing five hits. He struck out three.

Reliever Rob Rutherford gave two hits and a run in 1 2/3 inning. Catcher Ryan Larose threw out a base-stealer in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Only Mason was successful against him.

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