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Hagerstown gets 'A' game from Knight

July 23, 2006|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

Southpaw pitcher Brandon Knight fired a two-hitter with nine strikeouts in to help Hagerstown 'A' win its opening game of the Colt Region Tournament, 8-1 against Mount Lebanon on Saturday.

"The defense stayed behind me," Knight said. "If they made an error, they stayed up. They didn't get down on themselves. I'm glad my teammates gave me five runs in the first inning. That gave me confidence."

Knight had a no-hitter through four innings. Brett Saber broke it up by leading off the fifth with a solo homer to right-center field for Mount Lebanon.

"I felt great," Knight said. "I just kept the ball in the ballpark, except for that one pitch. It felt like my control was there. I stayed in the strike zone pretty consistently."

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Knight was also the main man on offense, slugging a game-high three hits.

"It was an incredible pitching performance by Brandon," Hagerstown manager Brad Himeman said. "It was more than what we expected. He missed a couple of spots early. Once he settled in during the second inning, he was able to hit his spots well."

Hagerstown got off to a great start. David Bowen led off with a single to center and stole second. Bowen came home when Chris Jackson reached on a fielding error. Tim Hamilton reached on a fielder's choice and Alex Zoretich walked.

Hamilton scored on Tyler Hornbecker's single. On the same play, both Zoretich and Hornbecker moved up one base on an error. Noon Jordan followed with a two-run double to center. Jordan came around to score on two wild pitches.

"We are setting out trying to win three in a row," Himeman said. "My goal was to get on top early and hold them down. That five-run first inning gave us a cushion and it gave us confidence that we can hold the other team."

Hagerstown added two runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Hamilton and a RBI double by Zoretich, and got its final run in the seventh when Nathan Harden scored on an outfield error.

In Saturday's late games, Mount Lebanon played New Castle in a losers' bracket game and Hagerstown 'C' played Hagerstown 'A' in a winners' bracket game.

The Mount Lebanon-New Castle winner will play the Hagerstown 'C'-Hagerstown 'A' loser today at noon in the losers' bracket final. The winner of that game will face the Hagerstown 'C'-Hagerstown 'A' winner in the first of two possible championship-round games. If a second game is needed, it will be played at 5.

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