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Rebels ship out Cadets for Piedmont title

April 26, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

South Hagerstown pitcher Tim Leather was locked in on Friday, and the No. 4 Rebels clinched a share of the MVAL Piedmont title.

Leather was sharp, throwing a two-hitter with nine strikeouts, and leadoff hitter Tyler Presgraves continued his tear by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs in South's 9-1 victory over Frederick.

South (10-2, 5-0) leads Frederick (12-4, 2-3) and North Hagerstown (4-7, 3-3) by three games in the loss column with three conference games left. The Rebels also are in great shape to earn a top seed in Class 2A West.

"The kids know they've got to win to get the top seed," South coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "We want to get a first-round bye and have home field the whole way. We've really got to be prepared to win these conference games."

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Leather (5-0) walked four and hit a batter, but for the most part he was around the strike zone all game. He was particularly good throwing his curveball for strikes early in the count.

"The last time we played them (a 6-5 South win), I pitched against them, so I knew they were really good hitters," Leather said. "I had to get my curve over for strikes and get ahead early in the count."

Leather's only mistake was a fastball up and in that Brent DeHaven turned on for a home run to lead off the sixth inning. He walked the next two hitters, but got out of the jam with two strikeouts and a flyout.

Presgraves did everything but continue his streak of games with a home run, which ended at four. He gave South a 2-0 lead with a two-run single in the second, and added a double in the fifth and a single in the sixth.

Adrian Adams hit a two-run triple and Tim Hamilton and Tim Jacobson added RBI singles in South's four-run fifth. The Rebels scored three more runs in the sixth on two walks, Presgraves' single, a throwing error that led to two runs, and a wild pitch that scored the third.

The Rebels also flashed the leather. Second baseman Todd Jacobson made a brilliant diving stab up the middle to rob Andrew Zimnik of a hit in the second, and turned a 4-3 double play in the third.

"Our pitching coach, Mike Knight, he pretty well had a plan written out for each hitter, and defensively, we were right where they hit it," Stottlemyer said. "We came up and swung the bat, and played great defense."

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