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Hose fires one for Grandma

April 01, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Yes, he was pitching against Williamsport star Nick Adenhart. And yes, there were dozens of major league scouts present, but North Hagerstown ace T.J. Hose's motivation stemmed from a much more important source.

"I'd like to dedicate this game to my grandmother," Hose said after orchestrating a masterful, complete game 2-1 victory over Adenhart and the Wildcats on a chilly, overcast Wednesday afternoon. "She passed away Saturday, the funeral was today, and I knew she was there with me the entire game.

"To tell you the truth, it was on my mind every pitch I threw. Before I threw every pitch, I said, 'This one's for you, grandma.'"

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"The last couple of days, he's done an incredible job to put that behind him," Hubs coach Shawn Reynolds said. "I've gotten to know his family pretty well, and he has a lot of respect for his grandmother. He would call her after every game. ... The kid's a (heck) of a pitcher."

Drawing strength from his loss, Hose (1-1) dominated Williamsport, allowing five hits, two walks and one earned run - coming on Ben Jordan's RBI double in the seventh inning - while striking out 13, including Will Roney and Adenhart to end the game with Jordan left stranded in scoring position.

While his thoughts weren't always on Adenhart and the zoo of scouts behind the backstop, Hose admitted having the chance to pitch in such an environment only helped.

"I knew there were going to be a lot of scouts here, and I wanted to throw my game and show them I could throw a little," said Hose, who has already signed with East Carolina University. "You've got a kid (pitching against you) who's going to be a potential top five pick this year, and it just pumps you up to come in and show what you've got."

"He was up for the game," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "He had nothing to lose and everything to gain with all these scouts here, and he took advantage of it."

Adenhart (1-1) pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-hit ball with four walks and eight strikeouts, but the Wildcats committed five errors and both of North's runs were unearned.

The Hubs broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning, when Matt Ridenour led off by rocking an Adenhart fastball for a towering double off the base of the fence in right center. After a strikeout, Adenhart's high pickoff throw went into center field and Ridenour moved to third. Adenhart then walked Kyle Robinson, ending his night on the mound after 101 pitches.

Reliever Ben Jordan, who came in from his center field position, walked Brent Toms to load the bases before Colby Thompson hit a line drive to center field, where Adenhart had taken over. Adenhart made the catch for the second out, but his throw home sailed to the backstop, allowing Ridenour to score.

"After I caught it, I double-clutched instead of throwing to the cutoff," Adenhart said. "I saw the runner take a couple steps and I let it fly, and you know the rest."

The Hubs added what turned out to be a needed insurance run in the seventh when Ridenour walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored when Chris Grove's grounder was thrown away by shortstop Josh Bowers.

"It's just a total team breakdown on defense, that's just the point of it," Steiner said. "That's the great thing about baseball, is that sometimes it's the little things that win games."

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