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Hawks left stranded, lose fourth straight

April 13, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Maybe there should be a new course added to the class schedule at Hagerstown Community College for members of the Hawks baseball team.

Coach Scott Jennings would see to it that those he assigns the duty of swinging the bat with men in scoring position would successfully pass the class titled "Clutch Hitting 101."

The Hawks were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base that led the way to a 4-3 loss to Allegany College on Tuesday afternoon, sending HCC (14-11) to its fourth straight loss.

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"It's been a weakness for us all year," said Jennings. "Today, we finally got some runners on base and still couldn't produce."

HCC knocked out 10 hits, received five walks and had one hit batsman, but the Hawks left the bases loaded twice, the second in the eighth inning when they had an opportunity to fully overcome Allegany's 4-1 lead.

Alex Bower, pinch hitting for Matt Tedrick, led off with an opposite-field single to right and moved to second when Andrew Murray was hit by a pitch.

Kyle Robinson lofted a blooper just out of the reach of Allegany third baseman Jeremy Potter to load the bases. Marty Kaetzel followed with HCC's only clutch hit with a first-pitch line single to center to score Bower and Murray and send Allegany (17-9) starting pitcher Matt Godin to the sidelines.

Lowell Coats sacrificed to move Robinson to third and Kaetzel to second, then Drew Counselman bounced to Potter, who threw Robinson out at home. After a walk to Eric Miksitz, Andy Taylor went out on the first pitch on a fly ball to right field.

"We have to take a better approach at the plate and know the situation we are in," said Jennings. "They've got the green light to swing, but it doesn't always have to be the first pitch they see. Sometimes, they just can't lay off if the first pitch is a ball down the middle ... it might be the best one they see."

HCC righty Robbie Davis (2-1) went six innings, but lost his sharpness in the fourth and sixth innings. Allegany took advantage of the opportunities it had.

A walk, two hit batsmen and a single produced Allegany's solo run in the fourth that tied the score at 1-1. In the sixth, Davis allowed three hits and one walk as Allegany took its 4-1 lead. In the other four innings, Davis was near perfect, allowing only one baserunner.

Davis allowed only five hits and Chad Lorson finished up with three innings of two-hit relief. Combined, the HCC pair had nine strikeouts.

"I went too deep into a lot of counts and that's obviously what a batter looks for," Davis said. "It's hard going out and pitching when you know the offense is having a tough time, but we've got good hitters and it will come for them."

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