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Hubs rally for DH sweep

May 01, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

It took the sun's final rays of light to reheat the North Hagerstown baseball team's offense Friday evening.

After erupting for 18 hits in a 14-6 win over Smithsburg in the first game, North was held to two hits and trailed 4-1 through five innings of the nightcap before the Hubs found their groove again.

The No. 9 Hubs rallied for seven runs on five hits, three walks and an error in the top of the sixth inning and beat the Leopards 8-4 in a game cut an inning short due to darkness to complete the MVAL Antietam doubleheader sweep.

"I think maybe the daylight had something to do with it. We knew we had to get it done," said North's Orland Dean, who sparked the sixth-inning rally with an RBI single and pitched 5 2/3 innings for the first-game win. "We got a little fired up and got a little life to us."

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After the teams combined for 30 hits in the opener, their pitchers combined for 21 walks in the nightcap. But neither team could fully capitalize, combining to strand 19 runners on base.

"We got the outs when we needed them. We have a heck of a defense," said North assistant coach Steve Greathead. Greathead filled in for head coach Shawn Reynolds, who was ejected for arguing a call at the plate in the second inning of the first game.

"It wasn't pretty, but we just kept our heads in there and finally came back and played like we're capable of playing. We have a heck of a ball club when we want to play ball."

North improved to 10-5, 8-2. The Leopards have dropped seven of their last nine games, falling to 6-8, 3-7.

"We found a way in one inning to let a team get back in the game. That's just been the story of the last two weeks," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "We left numerous runners on base. We had chances to increase our breathing room and we didn't do that."

Matt Murray, who reached base in all eight of his plate appearances Friday, allowed one run in three innings of relief to pick up the win in the second game.

In the first game, Murray went 3-for-3 with three RBI, Chris Grove went 3-for-3 with four RBI and Matt Ridenour was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI for North. Josh Humelsine was 3-for-4 with two RBI and Drew Crawford was 3-for-5 with an RBI for Smithsburg.

In the second game, Dean and Kyle Robinson each went 2-for-4 for North. In the sixth inning, Ridenour, who finished with another three-RBI game, tied the contest at 4-4 with a two-run double off reliever T.J. Bowser and scored the go-ahead run on Grove's RBI fielder's choice.

Leopards starter Nathan Steelman, who lasted 5 1/3 innings, took the loss in the nightcap.

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