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Hawks struggle with basics in loss to Frederick

April 07, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Good defense and timely hitting will win games for a baseball team.

A lack of either will end up costing a team victories.

The Hagerstown Community College baseball team struggled on both of those fronts Thursday afternoon, helping Frederick Community College to an 11-4 win over the Hawks in a Maryland JuCo Conference game.

"There were too many errors and too many men left on base," HCC coach Scott Jennings said. "Until we make better pitches and start catching the ball, we're going to struggle to win. Right now, we are a very inconsistent team because we are making too many errors. We are giving them four or five outs an inning."

HCC (15-9, 7-3) has lost five of its last eight games and three of its last six in the conference.

The Hawks committed five errors and left 10 runners on base, while Frederick (21-11, 10-5) lit up Hawks pitchers for 13 hits and eight earned runs.

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"Defensively, we made the plays," Frederick coach Rodney Bennett said. "We turned three double plays. The pitching was good enough to keep us in the ballgame. The plan going into today was pitching by committee. It helps us to relax some arms."

Leading 4-3 entering the sixth inning, the Cougars broke the game open with a seven-run inning.

John Ortiz led off with a double to left. Josh Simons and Jon Colantuoni followed with back-to-back singles to bring home Ortiz. One out later, Cody Stinger doubled to right to knock in Simons, while Colantuoni also scored on the play on an error.

With two outs, John Marlette singled to left to score Stinger. After Chris Nehl singled, Bryan Parks tripled to right to drive in two. Parks came home on a wild pitch.

"We swung the bats and that turned out to be the difference in the game," Bennett said. "It was a close game until we had that one big inning. Gary Wolfe came in relief and kept them in check until our big inning."

Wolfe (2-1), a South Hagerstown graduate, gave up just one run in two innings of relief to get the win for the Cougars.

Colantuoni finished with two hits and three RBI for Frederick. Stinger, Marlette, Nehl and Simons each had two hits.

"During their big sixth inning, they hit the ball well," Jennings said. "They deserved to win the game. They made the plays defensively. They got out of two bases-loaded jams. We couldn't step up and hit the ball."

Alex Bower and Kyle Chronister led the Hawks with two hits each.

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