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Practice games make Warriors playoff perfect

May 11, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

BOONSBORO - Boonsboro baseball coach Ben Leonard made sure of at least one thing for his team's Maryland Class 1A West playoff game Saturday afternoon against Hancock.

The Warriors would be prepared.

"Our first 18 games were practice for this," said Leonard. "No matter how bad you are or how good you are, everyone is 0-0 in Maryland. Now we just play until we lose."

The idea of a Boonsboro loss quickly got tossed out the window as the Warriors plated 11 runs in the second inning and cruised to a 17-0 first-round victory in Leonard's playoff coaching debut.

"We knew coming in that we couldn't take Hancock lightly. Anybody can beat anybody on a given day," said Leonard, whose team will travel to play Brunswick on Monday at 4:30 p.m. "We played the way Boonsboro baseball is supposed to play."

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Boonsboro (10-9) tallied 15 hits and posted a season-high run total. Jake Pendergraft added icing to the cake with a three-run home run in the top of the fourth.

Pendergraft finished 3-for-3 with five RBIs.

"I feel pretty good now," Pendergraft said. "I went through a pretty bad slump in the middle of the season, but I've been coming out of it in the last couple games. I'm seeing the ball well now."

He isn't the only one.

Seth Poffenberger singled three times and drove in a pair of runs, while Cody Snavely and Dwayne Washko each added two hits for the Warriors. Snavely also had three RBIs.

"We have such a good supporting cast that no one guy needs to do it all," Pendergraft said.

Castmember John Shobe played a dual role as he fired three hitless innings with six strikeouts and added a two-run single. Shobe got the win and Dryan Cole entered and pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Jake Foreman and Mike Clingerman had the only hits for Hancock.

"We didn't come ready to play," said Hancock coach Brian Kerns. "It's kind of like when your dad used to take you out behind the woodshed. That's what it was."

Foreman started for Hancock and lasted only 1 2/3 innings after walking six batters and giving up seven hits. He was saddled with 11 runs - four were unearned because of two errors in the second inning.

The Panthers finished with four errors in their worst loss of the season.

"Fielding has been a problem all year," Kerns said. "We've had a rough time catching it and throwing it."

Hancock (8-12) ends the season on a four-game losing streak.

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