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Hubs spot Leopards eight runs, win by 10

April 01, 2006|By DAN KAUFFMAN

The only thing that changed faster than the weather during Friday's prep baseball game between North Hagerstown and Smithsburg was the fortunes of the two teams.

The Leopards rolled to an 8-0 lead after 1 innings under clear, warm skies. Then the clouds rolled in, the wind picked up, the temperature plummeted and so did Smithsburg, as the Hubs roared back on the strength of 19 hits to dispatch the Leopards 18-8 in six innings in the MVAL Antietam opener for both teams.

North (3-1, 1-0) started the game with three captains riding the pine because they were late to the game. With its defense shuffled, the Hubs committed three errors behind starter Marcellus Sumlin in the first inning, leading to five unearned Smithsburg runs. Josh Bodine's RBI infield single and Matt Baer's two-run bloop single were the keys hits in the frame.

Steve Hines singled to open the second inning. Matt Shriver was hit on the knee by a Sumlin fastball, and one out later, Josh Humelsine singled in Hines to make it 6-0. Shriver scored on the Hubs' fourth error of the game, and Humelsine scored on Kevin Kocsis' sacrifice fly to make it 8-0, leaving the Hubs in comeback mode - something they specialized in during last year's run to the Class 2A state final.

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"One of these times, it's going to bite us in the rear," North coach Shawn Reynolds said. "We need to come out and be on our game and not fall behind by eight runs."

Freddie Kreiger came on in relief of Sumlin in the second inning and helped turn the tide, giving up just two hits, one walk and one hit batter while striking out six in his 3 2/3 innings of work. Justin Weaver allowed a single in the sixth but still struck out the side.

"Kreiger came in and did a heck of a job for us," Reynolds said. "I told him to try to keep us in the ballgame, and we'd see if we could score a few runs."

With the Leopards' bats cooled, North went to work at the plate - with a little help from Smithsburg's defense, which committed six errors, some of which were caused by the swirling winds.

Cadyn Robinson's infield single got the Hubs started in the bottom half. He scored on Cody Nelling's double to the right-field gap, and Kreiger hit a two-out rocket to center that was misplayed into a four-base error on what would have been the third out, allowing Nelling to score and Kreiger to race all the way around the bases to make it 8-3.

North then unloaded on Smithsburg (1-2, 0-1) with a nine-run third inning on nine hits, including Nelling's two-run single, Kreiger's three-run double, RBI singles by Sumlin and Mark Dattilio and an RBI double by Weaver.

Danny Olson and Dattilio both had RBI singles in a three-run fourth that made it 15-8, the Hubs scored two more in the fifth to make it 17-8, and after Weaver led off the sixth with his second double of the game - he also tripled - Kent Worthington ended the game with a two-run home run that turned into an RBI triple because of interference called on the Hubs.

"We swung the bats well after the first two innings," Reynolds said.

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