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Rebels are class of Diamond Classic

May 05, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

Trophies had been hard to come by for South Hagerstown in the first three years of the Diamond Classic.

But the Rebels grabbed the first of what they would like to be many on Friday with an emphatic 13-3 victory in six innings over North Hagerstown at Municiapal Stadium. The city trophy victory allowed South to enjoy a little ice water celebration on coach Ralph Stottlemyer.

"We're very pleased to win this game," said Stottlemyer, whose Rebels had already clinched the MVAL Antietam title Wednesday. "We wanted to keep going because the seeding meeting is coming up."

The No. 3 Rebels parlayed 10 hits, seven walks, two hit batsmen and two key errors to back pitcher Spencer Cromer.

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After the Hubs (7-9, 5-8) left the bases loaded without scoring in the top of the second, the Rebels (12-3, 11-2) feasted off a one-out error by North third baseman Colby Fisher to start a six-run rally.

Tim Leather drove in Tim Hamilton and Dustin Boward with a triple to the wall in center for a 2-0 lead off North starter Marcellus Sumlin. After a walk to Zeke Ricketts, Derrick Hendershot snapped out of a slump with a two-run single, the first of his three hits and six RBI, for a 4-0 lead.

Brandon Knight and Pat Mertz added doubles for a 6-0 margin, knocking out Sumlin (1-2).

"I had been getting my hands up and then whipping the bat," said Hendershot, who saw his average drop from .400 mark to .226 entering Friday's game. "I got to keeping my hands back and coming through level on my swing."

South jumped on reliever Kyle Hoffman for four runs in the fourth.

With one out, Hamilton was hit by a pitch for the second time before Fisher committed his second error on Leather's grounder. One out later, Hendershot singled to drive in two more runs. A wild pitch and Mertz's third hit of the game drove in the other two runs.

Hendershot completed his RBI binge with a two-run single in the fifth inning. The Rebels closed out the game in the sixth when North's Steve Younker walked three straight batters after two were out before throwing a wild pitch to allow Tim Jacobson to score the final run.

"Story of our season ... Errors open the floodgates and you give a team five outs," said North coach Shawn Reynolds. "And we haven't done anything driving in runs with the bases loaded. I don't think we've had a hit in the last nine games."

North dented the scoreboard for a pair of fourth-inning runs off South's Spencer Comer.

Cadyn Robinson walked and Fisher singled before Cromer struck out the next two batters. But Tommy Evans hit a two-run double off the wall in center for the Hubs. North added a run in the fifth on a single by Sumlin, who advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Fisher.

Cromer, who had been working out of the bullpen as the Rebels' closer and owns the school's single-season save mark, won in his first varsity start.

"Coach told me two weeks ago I was going to get this start so I was pretty pumped up," said Cromer, who threw 118 pitches. "I was overthrowing in the start. I had to rely on my curveball. And as a starter, you change your approach some."

"Once we got the six runs, (Cromer) threw the ball better," said Stottlemyer. "He said he felt strong so we let him go six innings."

Cromer walked seven to go with seven strikeouts to post his first victory.

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