Belanger fans 17 as Wolves in finals today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005

ST. CATHERINE, Ky. &045; Another game, another win and another superb complete game performance on the mound.

Yet Co-Lin head coach Keith Case remains guarded.

His Wolves got a gem of an outing from Ryan Belanger in a 2-0 win Friday over a strong Itawamba team in the semifinals of the NJCAA super regional at St. Catherine, Ky. It vaulted the Wolves into the championship today against likely Itawamba, pending the outcome of Friday night’s game.

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Even after Belanger tossed a one-hitter while striking out 17, the thought of facing Itawamba again is somewhat unsettling. The Wolves have five pitchers available &045; Lance Deville, Scotty Smith, Joseph Langham, Will Buckels and Matthew Tubbs &045; with Game 1 starter Derek Thompson available for one inning if needed.

Action begins at 11 a.m. today.

&uot;We’re still the underdogs,&uot; Case said. &uot;We’re still concerned about tomorrow if you want to know the truth because we’re not deep to start with. But Itawamba is not like any of the teams we’ve played the last couple of weeks. They’ve got a ton of pitching, and offensively they’re just monsters.&uot;

Itawamba, the North champs from Region 23, must do it twice today if it wants a berth in the Division II World Series in Millington, Tenn. At least the Wolves have a number of pitchers rested after Belanger, a USM signee, was dominant against a team that had been shut out only once prior to Friday.

The Wolves, however, had about as much success at the plate as the Indians against starter Jared Coon, a Mississippi State signee.

Co-Lin got both their runs in the third inning but managed only four hits for the game &045; all singles &045; while going down swinging nine times.