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Hubs' 'D' sparks 'W'-baseball

March 26, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

It was a simple game of give-and-take.

North Hagerstown baseball coach Shawn Reynolds had questions. The Hubs provided some conclusive answers.

Reynolds asked if the youthful Hubs would have enough defense to compete in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League. North settled the coach's heart rate with three big plays in the field to match up with some timely hitting Monday for a 7-5 win over Middletown.

"We only have three starters back from last season," Reynolds said. "I wondered if we had the defense to start the year out."

In last Saturday's opener with Brunswick, defense did the Hubs (1-1, 1-1) in with three errors in the first inning for three unearned runs. Monday, they were near flawless in the game shortened to 5 1/2 innings by darkness.

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The first came in the third inning when starting pitcher Chris Schildt caught the Knights' Ryan McQuillen in a rundown between second and third on a steal attempt with runners on first and second. It allowed Schildt to get out of the inning without allowing a run.

In the sixth, reliever Cole Bellon picked Chris Lineham off first for the first out of the inning. It became a big play when McQuillen stroked a two-run double to right-center field - which could have been a bases-loaded without the pickoff.

The double turned into North's final defensive gem as center fielder Matt Johnson hit relay man T.J. Hose who connected with third baseman Aaron Davis to gun down McQuillen's attempt for a triple.

But the biggest of the plays may have been Schildt's pickoff.

"That was big," Reynolds said. "They had their No. 4 hitter coming up with none out and two on. It changed the inning."

Middletown took a 1-0 lead in the second on Ryan Lewis' RBI single.

North came off the pickoff to pick up four runs in the third off Middletown starter Chris Anderson. The Hubs took a 2-1 lead on consecutive doubles by Hose, Johnson and Eli Rivera.

Rivera's double was lined off of first baseman Randy Lawson's glove down the right field line where Trey Staub made the pickup. Staub's tried to get Johnson at the plate but his throw hit first base coach Steve Greathead in the head. The ball knocked the coach to the ground, where he stayed with a cut over the left eye, until and ambulance came.

After the half-hour delay, Bellon followed with a two-run homer for a 4-2 North lead. The Hubs added three in the fourth, capped by Johnson's RBI double, to take a 7-2 lead.

North 7, Middletown 5

Middletown 100 112 - 5 6 2

North 004 30x - 7 10 2

Anderson and Brandenburg; Schildt, Bellon (5) and Carbaugh. WP-Schildt (1-0). LP-Anderson (0-1). HR-North: Bellon (3rd, one on)

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