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Boward warms up as South catches fire vs. Northwood

May 09, 2009|By CHRISTIAN WORSTELL

Although the start time for South Hagerstown's playoff baseball game was pushed up 15 minutes on Friday, Dwight Boward's left arm still arrived as scheduled.

Boward shook off a wild start to pitch three scoreless frames, the Rebels plated seven runs in the second inning and South cruised to an 11-1 win over Northwood in the first round of the Maryland Class 2A West tournament.

"Their coach (Jerry Ricucci) and I and the umpires got together, and we wanted to get started early because the weather was threatening," South coach Ralph Stottlemyer said.

"It was a 4:30 start so I came out to warm up at like 4:10 thinking I had 20 minutes to warm up," Boward said. "All of a sudden the guys were running onto the field. I only got to throw about 10 warmup pitches."

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Boward started the game by walking the first two batters on just nine pitches but soon settled in nicely. The senior struck out the side to escape the jam and did not allow a ball out of the infield during his three innings on the hill.

"I just had to warm up. Mostly just four-seam fastballs low. Not too many curves," said Boward, who gave up a pair of infield singles and struck out five for the win.

Boward had plenty of help in the bottom of the second when 12 batters went to the plate and South (6-10) scored seven times with two outs against Northwood starter Jimmy Hessler. Only two of the runs were earned and the Rebels logged only three base hits in the inning.

"That was a microcosm of our season," Ricucci said. "The pitchers walk guys, the fielders make errors and then we get hit. After the first inning I felt good. I thought we could hang with them. But (Hessler) started falling behind in counts and relying on his fastball and (South) knew it was coming."

With two outs in the second, Nick Stubbs hit a two-run single and a throwing error and a dropped fly ball by the Northwood defense led to four more runs.

Joey Miller tacked on a solo home run to left field for the Rebels in the fourth and South ended the game via the mercy rule when John Moser cracked a two-run single to center with two away in the fifth.

All but one of the Rebels' runs came with two outs and five were unearned. Northwood (1-13) committed three errors and issued seven walks and a hit batsman.

"Those errors kept us in some of those innings," Stottlemyer said. "That's something that's haunted us all year but we finally played a clean game. When we've played well defensively we've won."

Jordan Hatfield recorded the final six outs from the mound for South. Moser finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs while nine Rebels scored a run.

South will travel to Walkersville (6-9) on Monday.

Note: Northwood coach Ricucci, a former Hagerstown Bears football player, pitched a no-hitter against South in 1962 while Stottlemyer was playing for the Rebels. Ricucci played for Blair.

South Hagerstown 11, Northwood 1
Northwood 000 01 -- 1 5 3
South Hagerstown 070 13 -- 11 8 1

Hessler, Goldman (5) and Allen. Boward, Hatfield (4) and Haupt. WP -- Boward. LP -- Hessler. HR -- SH: Miller (4th, none on).

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