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South Hagerstown shakes off rust for 2A West win

May 16, 2008|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

The South Hagerstown baseball team has had its patience tested.

The Rebels - the top seed in Maryland Class 2A West - played their last regular-season game on May 7, eight days before taking the field for their first playoff game Wednesday. Then South's offense waited until the fourth inning to get going against Winters Mill.

No matter. The Rebels found their groove and rolled to a 7-3 victory over the Falcons in the 2A West quarterfinals.

South (15-3) will host fourth-seed Century in a semifinal game today at 4:30 p.m.

"We were waiting to play for eight days," Rebels coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "That layoff hurt us. Our boys were a little slow starting. Once we loosened up, we started to hit the ball and get back in the groove. We never let down. We were able to come back. Once we got in the flow, we were fine."

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South senior Tim Leather came on in relief with two outs in the top of the first inning and gave up only one run while striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings to get the win and raise his record to 7-0.

"It was a good victory for us," said Leather. who will play for Frederick Community College next spring. "We have been knocked out in the first round in the last two years. This got our confidence up.

"I think I pitched good today. My fastball was working. I got my curveball over for strikes. As soon as I came into the game, I thought I was in control out there. I felt like I could throw any pitch I wanted."

Tim Jacobson banged out three hits and Leather added two hits for the Rebels.

South overcame a 1-0 deficit against Winters Mill (5-14) with five runs in the fourth inning to take the lead, 5-1.

Adrian Adams walked and Tim Jacobson reached on an infield single to start the Rebels' rally. Brandon Knight singled to left to drive in Adams. Todd Jacobson grounded into a fielder's choice with Knight out at second, before Steve Grossman walked to load the bases. David Stone hit a sacrifice fly to left to knock in a run. Tyler Presgraves then clubbed a three-run homer to left.

The Rebels added a run in the fifth when Adams scored on a throwing error, and got their final run in the sixth when Adams singled home Tim Hamilton.

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