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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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June 2, 2005     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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June 2, 2005
 

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SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, June 2, 2005 11 ,i I hadn't played a ferson pitcher Josh Simons got whole texture of the game. innings six and even. had a strikeout to end the Mussel- Simons went to a 2-2 count on Rut by the last of the sixth dearly two weeks, man first and then hammeredMusselman's sixth-place bat- the' ougars had increased standardized a three-run homer in the third, tervAnd then he got a strikeout their lead to 5-1. persistent rain Simons' eventually was ableon a fastball that was offered at With a runner at third, Gage week had de- to get 11 Applemen on strikes, and missed. ~ Levac drew a walk and then postponed the but none was more important in Musselman had not been a stayed in a planned rundown semifinals Jefferson's 6-1 season-extend- 'menace to the Cougars in two between first and second long area rival Mus- ing victory than the one he got regular season games. And enough for the fourth Jefferson with the bases loaded and two when Simons drilled a Darling- run to score from third. already beat- outs in the bottom of the first, ton pitch beyond the fence in Levac had reached second Wednesday in Darlington "had struck outleft, he had three RBIs because and then'scored on an error in both Will Grantham and David Jonathan Hash and Corie Gus-rightfield on Hash's fly in that between Jef- Smith and then retired Simons tines had reached base before direction. on a routine grounder to end he homered, and the ApplemenSimons doubled and coasted The Cougars the top of the first, were in quick need of some re- home with Jefferson's last run game In its haft of the first, Mus- assurance, on still another Musselman And they selman got a leadoff single from They didn't get any breath- outfield error. 13-2 and 14- Joey Pletcher, who was sacri- ing room from Simons, who im- Darlington allowed nine hits season over their riced to second. Darlington was proved his overall record to 8-0. and did strike out eight but intentionally walked and then Musselman's only run (un- that meant Jefferson's other definite ef- Simons got another out. earned) made Jefferson's lead 13 outs had to be accomplished high Simons almost cost him- just 3-1 in the fifth. But Simons by the Applemen defense. And self an unearned run when he was getting his strikeouts -- 11 that defense couldn't accom- could take the failed to field a grounder back of them. Musselman had only plish that feat without yielding it would have to him. 10 outs besides the men Si- three unearned runs. effect on Mussel- The bases were loaded. Mus- mons was sending back to theThe Cougars were 30-6 The Applemen selman could take a lead, some- bench himself, and were in the Region finals confidence thing it hadn't done against the Jefferson committed two er- against Bridgeport, a team sselman Cougars in 2005. rors . . . but Musselman made with a 25-5 record. given chase to In a short, seven-inning three errors, the last couple Simons had homered. He had i helped sopho- game, the first inning can be contributing to Jefferson's final given Jefferson the first lead. Darlington the game's definitive moments, three runs. But his most important contri- porous Ap- Often, a team will load the Simons was able to strand butions were the 11 strikeouts bases and have two outs. The nine base runners as the Ap- that made it much, much eas- however, be- sixth-place batter in the order plemen had seven hits. Four of ier for Jefferson to withstand history when Jef- becomes the key figure in the those stranded runners were in the two errors it committed. d e Lee Fritz Nelms have first-team All- led the Moun- for the third He finished third- the West baseball camp another WVI- Jackets went playoffs held State had the the North At- assured places in the / upon the .at West Virgin- m a bid to host for the Region State's Chester, and Kutztown for the dou- tournament Would advance in Mont- Jackets won all games in the Re- Rock twice. one other in 999, will have mark to of Dixie". II Series has divides them brack- State will be Grand Valley and Southern 11-12). would group group- State (42-14- -8) and Flor- to). h double ~nt and Jefferson earned a berth in the state baseball tournament against Region IV power Ca- bell Midland when it ripped Bridgeport, 15-0, in a 4 1/2-in- ning Region II championship game played at Sager Field in Shenandoah Junction. For the 31-6 Cougars, the state- tournament slot was the school's eighth in the past nine seasons. Jefferson last won the Class AAA state title in 1999 and has seven championships in all. Bridgeport, competing in the Class AAA ranks for the first time in years this season, fin- ished with a 25-6 record and had reached the Regional finals with a 4-0 win over Elkins. The Cougars batted only four times in the 10-rtm, mercy rule- ended game. Jefferson scored at least once in all four of their of- fensive innings. highest career batting average in school history with a .378 mark. He is also third in ca- reer hits with 230. Nelms, a junior from Bris- tol, Virginia, batted .349 in his first season as a full-time starter. Nelms had 28 RBIs, 11 doubles, and three home runs this season as the Mountain- eers compiled a 25-30 record. Third baseman Justin Jen- kins was named to the sec- ond team and outfielder Stan Poslusny and catcher David Carpenter were placed on the third team. the survivors of each bracket play one game for the national championship. The World Series was sched- uled to begin last Saturday and continue until this Saturday. Bailey's trip to the Series in 1999 saw the Yellow Jack- ets lose their first game and then win three straight times to reach the bracket finals against Kennesaw State (Geor- gia). West Virginia State had beaten Kennesaw once, but lost in the game that would have propelled it into the two- team national finals. Coach Bailey has an all-con- ference outfielder/f~rst base- man in Kevin Goode from near-by Brunswick High. Nicholas Biron, a senior from Winfield High, pitched eight innings in a 9-2 win over West Chester in the North At- lantic title game. Biron im- proved his record to 7-3. Goode, second baseman Ryan Taylor, catcher Jon Mc- Dowell, and pitcher Zach Bald- win were named to the All-Re- gion first team and pitcher Marc Atkins was placed on the North Atlantic second-team. Justin Gray is the Yellow Jackets' rightfielder, Kyle Jones is the designated hitter, Robert Flinn is the shortstop, Anothony Courts is the left- fielder, and "Boo" Hager is the third baseman. West Virginia State lost only one game in the Southern Di- vision's regular season. It split doubleheaders with three Northern Division teams, but kept its best pitchers rested for Southern teams. No team from West Virgin- ia has ever won the Division II national championship and West Virginia State is the only school ever to reach the World Series, which used to be played in St. Joseph's, Missouri. Junior righthanded pitcher Bri- an Collins really didn't need all the offensive fireworks and firepower he received because he thorough- ly subdued the Indians' bats with a one-hitter over his five innings of work. Jefferson led, 1-0, after an inning and had increased its margin t e'w'ht runs alter just thrse innings. A seven:run fourth inning ex- tended the lead all the way to 15-0. Collins' RBI in the first inning scored Brendan McLaughlm and then the Cougars feasted on the of- ferings of Indian lefthander Tom- my Baker in the second. Jefferson's throe runs in the sec- ond came when David Smith led off the inning with a triple. Smith scored when Will Grantham grounded to shortstop Chris Endurato, who tried to get Smith at the plate. But Smith was safe and Jefferson had a 2-0 lead. McLaughlin then lofted a sea- son's-first two-run homer toward left and suddenly Collins was staked to a 4-0 lead. The Cougars weren't through with Baker. Josh Simons, who had singled, rode home on Collins' RBI double. Later, a courtesy runner scored Jefferson's sixth run on an Indian throwing error. When Collins went back out to -pitch in the third, he already had a 6-0 cushion to protect. McLaughlm, who finished with five RBIs, plated a pair of third-inning runs with his single. McLaughlin finished with a 3-for-4 evening. In the seven-run fourth inning, Grantham drove in two runs with a single and McLaughlin, Simons, Joe Wilt, Gage Levac, and Jona- than Hash also had RBIs. The Cougars totaled 14 hits in all including two by Collins who im- proved his batting average to .481. Collins was 5-1 after the mercy rule ended Bridgeport's season, the one hit he yielded was in the first inning when the Indians stranded two base runners. Collins walked two and struck out five Indians. Smith, in a bid to lift his batting average over .300 for the season, was 3-for-3 and scored throe runs. Grantham, who also was below the .300 mark entering the Bridge- port game, scored three runs and contributed three RBIs. Sinmns was 2-for-3 and Levac was also 2-for-3. In CabeU Midland, Jefferson will face the team that survived the rigors of the Region IV play- offs. The Knights had to beat Hur- ricane to win their Sectional. In the Region semifinals, Ca- bell Midland trimmed Hunting- ton.And in the finals, the Knights defeated defending state champi- on, Ripley, 8-6. State-ranked St. Albans and Nitro were also in Region IV. Jefferson won the 1999 state championship when pitcher/in- fielder Jimmy Rhodes was a ju- nior and pitcher/infielder Josh Cenate was a senior. The Cougars have been to ev- ery state tournament since 1999, save last season when they were beaten in the Region finals by University High of Morgantown. Cabell Midland is likely to start lefthanded pitcher Dax Adkins or righthander Drew Miller against Jefferson. The Knights carry a 28-4 re- cord into this affernoen's semifi- nal game. Should Adkins start, he would face Jefferson lefthanded batters Grantham, Smith, and Joe Wilt unless one of those regulars was replaced. Steve Buckhantz (left}, Reg- gie Evans, and Seth Franco signed autographs at the Ran- son Festival. Shepherd junior outfielder Collin Brown was named to the North Atlantic All-Region first team after breaking the school record for one-season batting average. Brown, who transferred to Shepherd from North Caroli- na State, hit .471 to break the standing record of .458 set by Brett Bakner in 1993. Brown's .471 average wat the fourth- highest in the country and could earn him further honors on the NCAA Division II na- tional All-America team. Not only did Brown lead Shepherd in individual bat- ting average but he also paced the Rams in hits (64), hit-by- pitches (12), on-base percent- age (.529), slugging percentage (.691), runs scored (38), doubles (12), triples (4) and RBIs (24). Joining Brown on the North Atlantic first team were four members of West Virginia State, which will represent the region at the Division II World Series in Montgomery, Ala- bama. The North Atlantic Player of the Year was catcher Jon Mc- Dowell of West Virginia State. The other three Yellow Jackets on the region first team were second baseman Ryan Taylor, outfielder/first baseman Kevin Goode, and pitcher Zach Bald- win. West Virginia State was the WVIAC Southern Division reg- ular season winner and then swept through the conference tournament with three straight wins -- beating Davis &,Elkins, West Virginia Wesleyan, and Davis & Elkins a second time. Other WVIAC players on the first team were Jerred Novot- ny of Alderson-Broaddus, Joey Besl of Concord, and Ryan Fla- nigan of Davis & Elkins. Pitcher Marc Atkins (West Virginia State) led a group of five WVIAC players named to the North Atlantic Region sec- ond team.