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Rebels wrap up Antietam

May 03, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO - Kenneth Feigley drew the pitching assignment on Wednesday in an effort to help guide the South Hagerstown Rebels out of a two-game funk.

After losing their first two MVAL Antietam Conference games of the year - to Catoctin on Monday and to Williamsport on Tuesday after the Wildcats scored eight runs in the seventh inning - the No. 2 Rebels were still one win away from clinching the league title, but needed to refocus against second-place Boonsboro.

"We just wanted to focus and be able to pick up each other," said acting South coach Dan Fowler, filling in for Ralph Stottlemyer, who missed the game due to a death in his family. "We didn't do anything terribly bad in the losses. Things just didn't work out."

Things didn't seem to be working out early on Wednesday, either. Feigley didn't feel comfortable in his warmups prior to the first pitch of the game, which opposing pitcher Aaron Dixon drilled for a double.

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"That (double) got me mad," said Feigley. "I left the pitch up."

There wasn't much else he did wrong after that.

Dixon went to third on a grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Pendergraft to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead, but Feigley shut down Boonsboro after that as South won the Antietam crown with a 3-1 victory.

"At first, I didn't have any location, and really didn't until the second inning," said Feigley. "Once I did, I was able to stay ahead in the count."

Feigley allowed five hits - three by Dixon - and more importantly did not walk anyone while striking out three in his 91-pitch performance.

"One of my goals every game is not to give any free passes," said Feigley (3-0). "I tried hard as crap to keep everyone in the game."

Dan Fowler said Feigley's formula for success was simple.

"He got to 1-and-2 counts and then threw out of the zone and got a lot of popouts," said Fowler. Twelve of Boonsboro's outs came in the air.

Feigley squirmed out of potential problems in the second inning when hits by Josh Anders and Chris Selby gave the Warriors (9-5, 7-5) runners at second and third with no outs. Feigley induced two infield popouts, then struck out Eli Beard to get out of the inning.

South (12-3, 10-2) failed to solve any of the offerings from Dixon until the top of the fourth, when Tim Leather led off with a single and Zeke Ricketts was hit by a pitch.

Derrick Hendershot's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base before Brandon Knight put the Rebels on top 2-1 with a line-drive single to center.

In the fifth, Dustin Boward scored on a sacrifice fly by Ricketts to make it 3-1.

The Rebels threatened to break the game open in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. Dixon struck out the next three hitters to turn South away - just a little too late.

"I thought Dixon pitched well enough to win, but again, we left runners in scoring position and that was the game," said Boonsboro coach Max Shaffer. "We just didn't have any patience at the plate ... trying to jack everything out."

Fowler thought Hendershot's bunt was key to the proceedings.

"We didn't want to leave those runners out there and I thought (the bunt) was timely," said Fowler. "That was a pretty good effort from a No. 5-hitter."

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