Lumberjacks Chop Turks In Semifinals

8/4/05 – Daily News Record

Thanks In Part To A JMU Player, Covington Advances, 6-2 By DUSTIN DOPIRAK Daily News-Record Summer in Memorial Stadium ended Wednesday night, thanks in part to a guy who plays his college baseball games right down the street. Covington designated hitter Michael Cowgill, a senior at James Madison, and his brother Collin, the Lumberjacks’ center fielder, combined to drive in five runs in a 6-2 victory over Harrisonburg in Game 2 of the best-of-three Valley League Southern Division championship series. The win, which came in front of about 600 fans at Memorial Stadium, gave the Lumberjacks a 2-0 series victory and allowed them to advance to the VBL championship series against New Market. Collin Cowgill accounted for most of the brothers’ damage, going 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, three runs scored and three RBIs. Michael wasn’t quite as successful, going 1-for-5, but he drove in two runs with his double. "It’s great [to come back here and win]," Michael Cowgill said. "A lot of people always ask me why I don’t play for Harrisonburg, but it’s always great to come back to JMU and play against some of my JMU teammates." Michael is still trying to get Collin to become one of his JMU teammates, though Collin decided to stay near the Cowgills’ home in Lexington, Ky., and attend the University of Kentucky, where he will be a sophomore. Collin Cowgill led the VBL in homers this year with 10. He’s hit five in his last nine games. "I’m just glad to take some of the thunder away from him," Michael Cowgill said, "so he doesn’t take it all himself. He’s been seeing the ball well, he’s been doing well all summer. … We’re still trying to get him to transfer." The Lumberjacks scored their other run on a solo home run by right fielder Bo Davis. The Turks took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by right fielder Kacy Bruce and had runners on second and third in the inning with two outs but failed to score another run. Harrisonburg got runners on first and second again in the second inning, but with one out, Covington manager Anthony Everman pulled starter Mike Sanders for reliever Sam Walls and that was the end of the Turks’ chances. Walls retired the first 11 batters he faced before finally allowing a base runner. In 7 2/3 innings of relief, he allowed just four hits, three of them in the ninth, struck out six batters and threw just 94 pitches. "Tonight, he pretty much dominated," Everman said. "He just dominated in every facet of the pitching sense. He got ahead in counts, had them confused; he did a great job for us." And so the Turks were forced to do the goodbye-hug-and-handshake routine about a week before they wanted to. "It meant a lot to us because we put so much work in this summer," center fielder Lucas Delong said. "But it is what it is now and it’s all said and done. But we had fun." Covington 001 120 200 — 6 13 0 Harrisonburg 100 000 001 — 2 7 1 Sanders, Walls (2) and Mercado; Baugh, Jarrett, (6), Butts (8), Wheeler (9) and Denker. WP-Walls (2-3). LP-Baugh (1-4). HR-C-C. Cowgill 2 (13), Davis (2).