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Hubs handle Cougars

April 17, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

In the world of Monocacy Valley Athletic League baseball, one thing is certain - even the best teams better be prepared when they take the field, because an embarrassing loss is the only other option.

Catoctin arrived at North Hagerstown Wednesday with a 6-2 record, and the Cougars left hanging their head after a 15-2 five-inning whipping at the hands of the Hubs, who have won three straight.

"North Hagerstown simply outplayed us, it's that cut and dry," Catoctin coach Mike Franklin said. "It's a great conference, and if you don't come ready to play, you're going to get your butt kicked."

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"Anybody can beat anybody on any given day," said Hubs coach Shawn Reynolds, whose team improved to 4-5. "Any pitcher in this league can shut anybody down."

Cole Bellon had Catoctin's number early, retiring the side on nine pitches in the first inning. The 6-foot-6 senior mixed his fastball and curve effectively, throwing the timing of the Cougars hitters off enough to allow just two runs (one earned) on six hits.

"He came out and threw the ball real well the first couple innings, then battled when he had a sore back," Reynolds said. "He did a heck of a job for us."

Bellon helped himself with an RBI double in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead, and the Hubs busted things wide open in the second.

Trevor Hullinger's two-run double to deep center field made it a 3-0 game and seemed to rattle Catoctin starter Will Delawter, who walked the next two batters on nine total pitches to load the bases with one out.

Delawter fought back to get a strikeout, and induced a grounder to second for the apparent third out, but a throwing error kept the inning alive and plated two runs for a 5-0 lead.

The flood gates opened, as Matt Ridenour and Kyle Robinson both hit two-run singles for a 9-0 lead.

"They give you extra outs, and you have to take advantage of them," Reynolds said.

The Hubs added six more runs in the third, including three on Matt Tedrick's homer to left and two more on Danny Zamora's two-run single.

North's infield defense was also solid, as the Hubs made four outstanding plays - three on slow rollers down the third base line - to keep any Catoctin rally at bay.

"The last couple of games, we've put it together in all three phases," Reynolds said. "When it gets warm, we play better."

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