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Hubs power up for two big innings, beat Roaders

April 24, 2004|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

It was a case of good news, bad news for North Hagerstown baseball coach Shawn Reynolds on Friday.

The good news was the inconsistent Hubs finally started hitting the ball.

The bad news was so did the Brunswick Railroaders.

North jumped all over Brunswick starter Justin Smith, slugging three home runs in the first inning, and then hung on through the Railroaders' comeback attempt and the rain to take an 8-5 MVAL Antietam victory.

Orland Dean led off the bottom of the first with a solo blast to deep center field on a 1-1 high fastball and North was off and running.

T.J. Hose doubled to center on the first pitch, and an out later, Matt Ridenour pulled a curveball down the left-field line for a two-run shot. Chris Grove rounded out the inning with another rocket over the center-field fence.

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"We finally started hitting the ball," Reynolds said. "Sometimes I worry though that we have this tendency to coast when things go our way."

The skies opened up in the middle of the second inning, drenching the field for about 20 minutes, before the Railroaders opened up the sky in their own way in the third inning.

Andrew Derr singled off Hubs starter Matt Murray. Blaine Keyser walked before Murray hung a 2-1 fastball high and inside to Preston Tarleton, who drove it over the right-field fence. Pat Curry followed with a solo home run to right and the Railroaders were suddenly back in the game.

"We talk all the time about this situation," Reynolds said. "Once you get someone down, you have to keep them there. We allowed Brunswick back into this thing."

But Murray was able to right the ship and held the Railroaders in check while North found its offense one more time.

Dean walked to lead off the fifth. Hose lined the next pitch into center and went to third as the ball was misplayed and rolled to the fence, scoring Dean. A pair of walks loaded the bases before Grove singled to left for a 7-4 lead. Colby Thompson's RBI single made it 8-4.

"I was glad to see us come back like that," Reynolds said. "I thought Matt pitched smart after he got out of trouble in the third inning. His pitch count got up, but he worked well for us."

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