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Hines has his day for Leopards

May 08, 2007|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Senior Steve Hines hit a three-run homer as the Smithsburg baseball team rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday to beat St. Maria Goretti 6-3 on Senior Day.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone," Hines said. "It felt pretty good, because it was Senior Day. It is going to be a memorable moment throughout the years, because it is just a hit that I won't forget in my high school career."

The Leopards (7-12) trailed 3-1 when they came up to bat in the sixth. Josh Conway led off with a single to left. One out later, Tim Peake reached on a fielder's choice in which everybody was safe. Travis Hays followed with a single, and Conway scored on the play and the other two runners moved up a base on an outfield error.

Another out later, Hines blasted his three-run homer to left to put the Leopards up 5-3. Kevin Tyler kept the rally going as he singled to center before stealing second and third. Matt Shriver then walked as Tyler scored when the fourth ball was a wild pitch.

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"I told (Hines) that was truly a senior moment on Senior Day," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "I don't think he could have written a better script for a senior on Senior Day. I thought that Travis Hays had a big hit to keep some of the momentum going in that inning."

Kevin Kocsis came on in relief to pitch the final 2 1/3 innings for the Leopards and gave up only one run to get the win. Kocsis also had two hits.

"Ben Walzl made two good throws to the plate in the second inning to cut down their runners," Fowkes said. "Those were two key plays in the early part of the game."

Goretti pitcher J.J. O'Neill allowed just one run and four hits during the first five innings before Smithsburg got its big rally in the sixth.

David Plank had two hits and O'Neill scored two runs for the Gaels (6-10).

"We left 14 runners on base," Goretti coach John Bowen said. "We left the bases loaded three different times today. We did a better job of hitting the ball today. But we could not get the clutch hit today. J.J. O'Neill pitched a good game today and he changed speeds well. He left that one pitch up there high and that guy hit the three-run homer."

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