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FSK stuns No. 1 Rebs

May 15, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Little was expected from the South Hagerstown baseball team before this season started, yet the Rebels rolled to a 13-3 record, the MVAL Antietam title and the top seed in the Maryland Class 2A West playoffs.

On Monday, South experienced the other side - the sting of falling short of expectations.

No. 8-seed Francis Scott Key scored four runs in the first two innings, then used a three-run seventh to put the nails in the Rebels' coffin in an 8-4 upset in the quarterfinals.

"It's very disappointing for my seniors," South coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "I really felt they had a shot at the region (title). ... I give (FSK) all the credit in the world. I know what it's like to be the underdog and win, and I'm sure they're enjoying it."

In 2003, Stottlemyer guided the underdog Rebels - 9-8 when the playoffs started - to the Class 1A state title.

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FSK (7-13) took a 2-0 lead in the first off South starter Brock Jamison. Jimmy Guilford and Justin Franklin led off with singles. Guilford scored on Logan Hersh's RBI groundout and Franklin came home on a wild pitch.

Tim Hamilton, walked, stole second and took third and home on a pair of wild pitches to cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom half. But the Eagles scored two more runs in the second to make it 4-1, as Justin Turner, Gilford and Franklin all singled.

With Turner and third and Gilford at second, Jamison went to his deliberate wind-up, and Turner stole home easily to make it 3-1. Franklin's hit scored Gilford.

"We've been down before, but we've come back in games like this," Stottlemyer said. "I thought we'd start hitting line drives and we'd be fine. It never happened."

Dustin Boward's RBI single scored James Hutzler to make it 4-2 after two innings. Hamilton doubled and scored on Derrick Hendershot's sacrifice fly in the third to cut it to one.

Stottlemyer replaced Jamison with Spencer Cromer to start the third for South. He threw three near-flawless innings before starting to tire.

Cromer allowed a run on a hit, two walks and a hit batter in the sixth - he struck out the final two hitters to escape a bases-loaded jam. In the seventh, Matt Ward's RBI double, Kevin Wantz's RBI single, two walks and an error led to three more FSK runs.

Pat Mertz tripled and scored on an error in the sixth for South, but the Rebels managed just four hits against the Eagles.

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