Stokes Quotes

Champions aren't made in the gyms.  Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.




 West Hempfield Uses Three Homers to Drop Latrobe

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By Ron Rubinkowski
Thursday, July 14, 2005

West Hempfield manager Bob Stokes would be more than willing to talk about his team's power potential, if he believed it had any. "We don't have any power," Stokes said. "I think we hit five home runs all year before this game." West Hempfield nearly equaled that output Wednesday, slugging three round-trippers in a 10-7 victory over Latrobe at Lint Field to take a 1-0 lead in the District 31 South/East Division final. Game 2 in the best-of-3 series is at 5:30 p.m. today at Latrobe.

Brandon Gnesda homered during a four-run first inning, and Zack Martin and Kyle McCullough both connected in a six-run sixth as West Hempfield rallied from a 7-4 deficit. "This is a resilient bunch of kids," Stokes said. "We were down, but I didn't have to tell them anything. They stayed calm and did what they had to do." "They took advantage (of the short fences) on the field they play on. I can't fault them for that," Latrobe manager Jason Bush said.

Gnesda's two-run homer in the first, coupled with RBI singles from Martin and Jim Rodgers, staked McCullough, West Hempfield's starting pitcher, to a 4-0 lead. But Latrobe trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the second -- Dave Palmer contributed a run-scoring single, and Chris Bossart delivered an RBI double - and tacked on four runs in the fourth. J.T. Rosa, who went 3-for-3, capped the inning with a three-run homer.

Latrobe starter Brian Newmeyer settled into a groove after his shaky first, pitching four shutout innings, but West Hempfield solved him in the sixth. Matt Roach's RBI groundout trimmed the lead to 7-5, and Martin's three-run homer gave the host team an 8-7 lead. McCullough added a two-run shot off reliever Jarred Ruffner. "Brian had a rough first inning, but he settled down," Bush said. "I might have left him in one batter too long, but I'm not going to second-guess that decision now." West Hempfield's Steven Dubich picked up the victory with three scoreless innings of relief. He allowed one hit, struck out one and walked two. Rodgers singled, doubled and tripled to lead West Hempfield's 12-hit attack. Gnesda also had three hits, including a double.

"That was a good baseball game, played between two very good teams," Stokes said. "We just managed to score some runs at the right time." "We have to win tomorrow; it's as simple as that," Bush said. "If we don't win tomorrow, there will be no tomorrow."

In the North/West Division final, the game between Irwin and Arnold yesterday was postponed. It will be played at 5:30 p.m. today at Valley High School.