Railroaders rally, roll Hubs

April 29, 1998|By MARK KELLER

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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North vs. Brunswick

North Hagerstown assistant coach Todd Webster said he pities the team the Hubs are facing when they decide to play seven innings of good baseball.

Unfortunately, for Webster and the Hubs, No. 6 Brunswick was not that team on Tuesday.

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The Railroaders erased a three-run deficit by scoring three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings on their way to a 7-5 Monocacy Valley Athletic League win at North.

"If they ever decide to come out here and play a seven-inning game, they'll bury somebody. They'll be incredible," said Webster, who was filling in for head coach Shawn Reynolds. "They score runs early, then think they can relax. They want to fight to get back into the game, but always come up a little bit short. That seems to be their motto this year."


The Hubs (6-9, 4-9) stuck to their season-long pattern. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer by Dave Hobbs, then added a run in the second on Mike Lipella's bloop single. But, true to form, they allowed the Railroaders to get back into the game with three unearned runs in the fourth.

North starter Patrick Bishop retired the first two hitters in the inning and appeared to have Kevin Barnette on a grounder. But Barnette instead reached on a throwing error to give the Railroaders a last gasp.

Brad Gaither singled, and Chris Hill walked to load the bases. Andy Maught sliced a 3-2 pitch into right field just out of the reach of Jayson Cannon to clear the bases and tie the score at 3-3.

"If we make the simple plays, get the routine outs, we're out of that fourth inning," Webster said.

Brunswick (12-4, 11-3) added three more runs in the fifth. Adam Eshbaugh led off with a single, and Jake Backover walked. Danny Hoover came on in relief of Bishop and walked Barnette to load the bases.

Brad Gaither followed with a sacrifice fly to center field that gave Brunswick a 4-3 lead. With two outs, Justin Wilkes singled to score Backover and Barnette.

"This was not a good offensive performance on our part," said Brunswick coach Roger Dawson. "(Bishop) was real inconsistent in the strike zone, and we helped him out by swinging at some bad pitches. We were very impatient at the plate."

Trailing 7-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Hubs battled back. Lipella, Cannon and Hobbs each singled to load the bases with one out. Dawson called on Willie McLane to relieve starter Neil Howard. Josh Barnes drove in a run with an infield single off the end of his bat. But McLane struck out the final two batters to strand three runners as the game ended.

"Willie came in and gave us a different look," Dawson said. "You go from a lefty that throws 72-75 mph to Willie, who throws a lot harder from the other side ... that's been effective for us."

Backover and Gaither each had two hits for the Railroaders. Cannon, Hobbs and Lipella each had two hits for North.

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