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Hubs' rally has Lions jumping through hoops

May 06, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

WALKERSVILLE, Md. - North Hagerstown's six-game winning streak was on the line Monday against Walkersville and the Hubs were able to extend it after awakening from a four-inning siesta.

After stranding six runners - including three in scoring position - and facing a 1-0 deficit, No. 9 North woke up in the fifth and went on to a 4-1 win over No. 4 Walkersville.

North also received a complete-game pitching performance from Brian Barnhart, who kept the Lions at bay despite three walks, three hit batsmen and five hits to pick up his first win of the year.

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"I had good velocity on my fastball and I thought I was moving the ball in and out pretty good and hitting the corners," Barnhart said of his 91-pitch effort. "I tried not to worry about facing Walkersville and how tough they are. It's been frustrating not winning, but this takes the edge off."

T.J. Hose was responsible for North tying the game in the fifth when he singled, took second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored when Lions catcher Travis Hubbard threw the ball into left field.

In the sixth, Kyle Robinson led off with an infield hit to short and then, with Colby Thompson squaring to bunt, took off for second as Thompson laid down the sacrifice. Hubbard threw wildly to first and far enough down the line that Robinson came around to score for a 2-1 lead.

Brent Toms followed with a 370-foot blast off the fence in center to plate Thompson. Toms scored when Danny Kolb dropped a fly ball on the run off the bat of Hose for a 4-1 lead.

"We certainly didn't hit well in the beginning of the game but that DP in the fifth inning sort of lifted us up," Reynolds said. "Brian pitched a heck of a game. He throws a heavy ball and changed speeds very well."

North showed stellar defensive support with a pair of double plays, the first when Orland Dean nabbed a fly ball by Anthony Brinkley and cut down Paul McCluskey at the plate to end the fifth inning.

In the seventh, the Lions had the tying run at the plate after a single by Hannigan and a hit batsman, but Barnhart induced Tyler Redick to bounce into a nifty 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

"You can't let a good team like North have extra outs," Walkersville coach Mike O'Brien said. "Walks killed us and we haven't been scoring the last four games and just didn't execute."

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