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South finds way to make self at home

May 18, 2008|By JACK HILL

CLEAR SPRING -- Whether it was at home, away or a home away from home, the South Hagerstown baseball team seemed destined to win.

Sloppy field conditions forced the Rebels to move their home game in the Maryland Class 2A West semifinals to Clear Spring on Saturday. It still felt like home, especially with South coming back from a 4-1 deficit to pull out a 5-4 win over Century.

South used a four-run third inning, highlighted by Tim Jacobson's three-run double, and a complete game by pitcher Brandon Knight to move into the West final against Liberty on Monday at 4:30 p.m., scheduled again for the Rebels' home field. South (16-3), the region's top seed, will be trying to win its first region title since 2003.

"We started out slow," South Hagerstown coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "We were a little sloppy on defense at first. Then, we tightened up. I knew that we would hit. It is just one of those things where we are not in the rhythm because of the weather."

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Knight, a left-hander, moved his record to 6-0 by allowing just two earned runs on five hits while striking out seven batters in seven innings. Knight allowed only one hit after the second inning.

"I came out and felt great," Knight said. "I was a little shaky at first. But I always get stronger as the game goes on. I wanted to get their hitters behind in the count with the curveball and then come with the fastball."

The Rebels fell behind 2-0 before Tyler Presgraves led off the bottom of the first with a home run to center field.

Century (11-10) padded its lead with two runs in the second to take a 4-1 lead. South staged its comeback in the third.

With one out, Presgraves drew a walk and Tim Hamilton was hit by a pitch. One out later, Adrian Adams walked to load the bases, before Jacobson belted his base-clearing double. He took third on a throw to the plate.

Jacobson scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

"We didn't get down when we were behind," Knight said. "We always battle back and we always stay together. When Tyler hit that home run, it gave us momentum. We got up and rowdy. Once they got me runs, I felt confident."

Todd Jacobson had three hits for the Rebels. Ryan Horst led the Knights with two hits.

"It was just a well-played game by some good teams," Century coach Matt Michael said. "They just got the big hit when they needed it."

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