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Benton, Southern top Patterson, 1-0


Patterson right-hander Mike Burrows used his slider for the first time all season against visiting and No. 18 Southern yesterday, and 11 of the 13 batters he struck out went down swinging at it.

The other two allowed the third strikes -- and Burrows' sneaky fastball -- to go right by them as the Clippers' ace completed a 99-pitch four-hitter.

The only problem for Burrows (8-3) was Southern right-hander James Benton (7-1), who nailed the game-winning single for his 28th RBI in the first inning. Benton raised his number of consecutive scoreless innings pitched to 21 as the Bulldogs (16-3, 12-0) remained unbeaten in conference play with their second win of the year, 1-0, over the No. 17 Clippers (16-4, 10-3).

"Burrows pitched a great game, but this was about gaining some attention and respect," said Benton, who ranks second in team RBIs behind catcher Billy Thomas (30 RBIs). "We've beaten Patterson twice now, but even so, they've been ranked ahead of us all year long."

Benton (2-for-3), the No. 3 batter, was first to exact revenge. He made Burrows pay for walking Ken Tolodziecki (1-for-2) -- the game's first batter and Burrows' only walk -- by blasting a run-scoring single.

"This was just another in the classic games that we've had against Southern where the tiniest mistakes are huge," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn.

Benton, who struck out six batters, committed his team's only error. And while he struggled with his control early, walking four batters, his defense turned in sparkling efforts such as Thomas throwing out the Clippers' Mike Jaski on a second-inning steal attempt.

Burrows had three opportunities offensively to change the outcome, but with a runner on second and one out in the first inning, he struck out swinging. In the third inning, Burrows grounded out to shortstop Chris Calvert with two outs and men on first and third.

Burrows broke through with a two-out, sixth-inning double that ended Benton's thoughts of a no-hitter.

Shaken by Burrows' shot, Benton wild-pitched the Patterson pitcher to third base. But he recovered to get Steve Reppas to strike out swinging for the third time.

MIAA B Tournament

* St. Paul's 16, Lutheran 0 : Nick DeLeonardis hit two home runs and Neal Charkatz hit a grand slam to lead host St. Paul's over Lutheran in a MIAA B conference first-round playoff. J. C. Deattie struck out 12 batters and walked four for the Crusaders.

* Mount Carmel 7, Friends 2: Dan Gittings (7-2) pitched a complete game to lead host Mount Carmel (14-8) over Friends (9-4). Gittings struck out four batters and walked three.

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