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Taylor shuts down Hubs

April 19, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - When everything clicks, Aerik Taylor can be the most dominating pitcher in Washington County.

With bright, sunny skies above, Williamsport's Taylor clicked on all cylinders as he kept the North Hagerstown bats in cold storage, tossing a one-hitter as the Wildcats prevailed 5-0 in an MVAL Antietam clash Monday.

The win, which avenged a 7-5 loss to North on March 30, kept the Wildcats tied with the Hubs in the conference, one game behind Boonsboro.

Taylor's pitch count hit 94 when North's Andy Murray sent Phillip Jordan to the fence in center for the final out. Taylor had only 32 called balls - 16 in the first two innings.

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"On a day like this there's no doubt about getting looser as the game goes on," said Taylor (3-0). "I might have been trying to be too sharp in the first two innings."

Tight or loose withstanding, Taylor allowed only a leadoff single to Matt Ridenour in the fifth inning that went straight through the box to center. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.

"I fall off some toward first on my delivery and I thought I could have stopped that one," Taylor said.

The only other baserunner for North (8-4, 6-2) came in the second inning when Taylor hit Brent Toms with a pitch.

"This was a big win for us as a team and for me," Taylor said. "Everyone was together today and our defense really played well."

The only runs Taylor really needed came in the second inning as the 'Cats (10-2, 6-2) made the most of two hits and two walks off North starter Brian Barnhart (2-2).

"(North) sat on Aerik's fastballs the first time," said Williamsport coach Rod Steiner. "He mixed up his pitches very well and as the game went on you could see he was gaining so much more confidence."

The decisive blow came off the bat of Matt Sweigert, who entered the game with a .238 batting average, the lowest of Williamsport's regulars.

After a walk and force play, Jordan had an infield single to short that moved Corey Itnyre to second. After a fly ball out, the Wildcats had three runners when Corey Broadwater walked.

Appearing down-and-out with an 0-2 count on Barnhart, Sweigert became feisty by working the count even before lining a wicked hopper past North's Toms at third to score Itnyre and Jordan.

"I've started to swing the bat a little better and it felt good to help the team getting some RBI," Sweigert said.

Williamsport tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Barnhart gave up a single to Taylor and walked Itnyre and Jordan before departing. J.C. McElroy came in and walked three straight batters.

"We got to (Taylor) the first time but we had nothing today," said North coach Shawn Reynolds. "We won a big game Friday (over South) and we weren't ready to play today, and I take some of the blame for that. (Taylor) was a great pitcher today."

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