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Gilmer just getting stronger

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

Their attitude was obvious from their body language. Whether it was as subtle as a fist pump from catcher Andy Williamson after one of the 12 strikeouts he would catch or as apparent as Jhonathan Schloeter's slide into home after his second home run, this much was clear: There would be no letdown.

In fact, two days after defeating Notre Dame for the sectional title, Gilmer County didn't even let up.

Gilmer County pounded out 12 hits en route to a 10-0, five-inning win over Tygarts Valley (14-14) Monday night at Frank Loria Memorial Field. The Titans (30-2) will travel to Moorefield Wednesday to face the winner of the Pendleton County-Paw Paw game for the Class A, Region 2 title and a berth in the state baseball tournament.

"No doubt. This is the best we've played all year," starting pitcher Lance Woodford said. "The guys are hitting the ball all through the lineup, the defense is making the plays in the field and we've gotten some pretty good pitching. We've definitely stepped it up."

Woodford pitched the first three innings, giving up back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the first inning. After the next batter, Willie Scott, reached on an error, Woodford was unhittable. Literally.

The senior struck out eight of the next nine batters he would face. Reliever Patrick Morrison pitched the final two innings, striking out four. Not until Garrett Bennett's groundout back to Morrison in the top of the fifth with one out did a Tygarts Valley batter again put a ball back in play.

Gilmer County went up 4-0 highlighted by Schloeter's three-run home run, which bounced off the top rail off the fence in left field. His one-out, solo home run in the bottom of the fourth proved to be the game-winner.

Gilmer County led 9-0 when Schloeter drove the 2-1 curveball just over the fence in left center.

The senior leftfielder, who is an exchange from Venezuela, slid into to home following his second shot.

"I did that for Omar Vizquel (Cleveland Indians shortstop)," Schloeter said. "He's from Venezuela also, and I saw him (slide into home) after he hit a home run to win a game.

"I thought that one had a pretty good chance of being the game-winner, so that's why I did it. I don't consider myself a home run hitter at all. I hit one the first game of the season, and that's been it until today."

Williamson added three hits and three RBIs, while second baseman Dan Page had a pair of doubles. Centerfielder Jeremiah Phares added two hits, including a double.

"We know we're going to have our hands full Wednesday, and it's not going to be like it was today," interim head coach Joey Frashure said. "We know Pendleton County is a good team. They 10-runned us last year, but we feel like if we continue to do the things we're doing now, we can stay on the field with anyone.

"It's been this group's goal all year to make it to the states. Right now they're playing with a lot of confidence."

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444.

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