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High School Baseball:
Nichols Hits For The Cycle Keys Entwistle Fifth Victory

Tuesday, May 1, 2001

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

Image the coach letting you know you're the starting pitcher for yet another important game for your team. Standing on the pitcher's mound with blue skies and warm temperatures, you're just anxious to get that first pitch over the plate. Well Shawnee's Dan Entwistle took full advantage of the situation as he held Highland to five scoreless innings in route to an 11-5 victory. Entwistle received plenty of support from his teammates as the Renegades jumped out to an 8-0 lead which was highlighted by Jeff Nichols 2-run homer. Nichols went 5 for 5 and also hit for the cycle (2 singles, double, triple and home run).

Shawnee (10-5) traveled to Highland High School Tuesday afternoon for an Olympic Conference game baseball game. Both of these teams are having successful beginnings to their 2001 season. Yesterday, Highland's bats were on fire as they pounded out a 12-8 victory over Cherry Hill West. The Tartans were looking for consecutive wins in back to back games. The Renegades would have a tough week with today's game and East on Thursday afternoon.

The Renegades scored early when Nichols lined a ball to deep left-center which then rolled along the fence toward center field. Nichols never hesitated as he round the bases for his 2-run home run. At that time, those runs were enough for Entwistle to work with as he kept the Tartans off balance with his high heat. As the innings progressed, Entwistle mixed in the curve ball which helped him record his 10 strikeout performance.

It wasn't until the bottom of the 6th inning when the Tartans began putting together a rally. Highland got their first run of the game when a hit-by-pitch and a single gave them a first and second with no outs. The runners then advanced on a double steal and a single to plate Highland's first run of the game. They would get their second run on another single to bring the score to 8-2 after six full innings.

Going into the top of the seventh inning, the only highlight left in the game would be could Nichols hit for the cycle. He would finally get his chance as he stepped up to the plate needing a double. With the outfielders playing extremely deep, Nichols dropped in a hit into the outfield. Knowing he needed a double, Nichols hustled around first and slid in safely for his double.

Amazingly, Entwistle would remain in the game in the 7th inning to face probably his toughest inning of the season. Shawnee had increased their lead to 11-2 when Highland began hitting the ball hard. Entwistle would take a line drive off his leg which dropped the starting pitcher to the ground. The tough right-hander got right back up to face his next opponent at the plate. In the inning, another lined drive up the middle caught the Shawnee hurler for yet another infield hit. Again, Entwistle shrugged off being nailed to complete the inning. Highland did scored three runs in the inning, but Entwistle (5-0) finally recorded his fifth victory of the season.

Photos by Art Redd

©2001 South Jersey Sports Online