Leonard learns new pitch, blanks Marshall Medical
United Telephone's Dane Leonard, sidelined for much of the Babe Ruth season with a concussion, learned a new pitch while recuperating and used it repeatedly to blank Marshall Medical 3-0 Tuesday night.
Leonard struck out eleven batters, ten of them waving at his new nasty slider. The big right-hander from Chapel Hill gave up just two hits; both on singles by Aaron Thomason to secure the complete game shutout and deny the Meds a chance to open up some space in the race for first place with the Elks.
"I learned the pitch (slider) about a month ago and decided to use it in the game tonight," said Leonard. "I started throwing it in the first inning and it was breaking off the pavement, so I just kept coming with it.
"By the time I got to the seventh, the blister on my finger was so bad from throwing the slider, I could only throw curves."
Marshall Medical's hurler, Lucas Laster also turned in a great performance, going 6 1/3 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Laster did not allow an earned run and struck out eight in the tough luck loss.
United Telephone's lead-off man Zack Horvath, the league's leading hitter went 2-2 and walked once in the contest.
Horvath walked to lead off the game for the telephone team, stole second and third, but was stranded when Cody Vernon made a great two-out grab on a hard line drive off the bat of Leonard with two down.
Marshall Medical loaded the sacks on walks in the bottom of the frame, but Leonard cooked up an 0-2 slider with two outs that broke off the table to retire Zack Kirby.
....Pick up a copy of today's edition, Friday, June 27, 2008 for entire story.