Leonard learns new pitch, blanks Marshall Medical

Friday, June 27, 2008
Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca Dane Leonard went the distance in the victory over Marshall Medical, allowing just two hits and striking out eleven.

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.