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Hubs are streaking in the right direction

May 04, 2007|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

The North Hagerstown baseball team has pushed away its seven-game losing streak with a two-game winning streak.

The Hubs' latest win was a come-from-behind 4-3 MVAL Antietam victory over Clear Spring on Thursday.

Clear Spring (8-6, 5-6) held a 2-0 lead when North (7-8, 5-7) came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Mark Dattilio doubled to left and Cody Nelling walked. One out later, Colby Fisher walked to load the bases. Tyler Hornbecker followed with a two-run single to center to tie the game at 2-2.

The Hubs got two more runs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. With one out, Mike Twigg singled to right and stole second and third. After Marcellus Sumlin drew a walk, Dattilio came through with a two-run single to left.

"Both Hornbecker and Dattilio did a good job of putting the ball in play after getting two strikes on them," North coach Shawn Reynolds said. "We finally came through with the big hits in the key situations."

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North starting pitcher Carl Spessard allowed just three runs and three hits, while striking out eight, in 6 2/3 innings to get his first win.

"I threw the ball pretty good," Spessard said. "I'm just glad that I had good defense behind me. We couldn't have won that game without good defense."

Spessard was also thankful for the hitting support that he received.

"We just kept plugging away," Spessard said. "We knew that we weren't down too bad. We were only down two runs after the first three innings."

Spessard struck out the first two Clear Spring batters in the top of the seventh. After that, Aaron Mills and Kyle Crist both drew walks.

Steven Younker then came on in relief to pitch for the Hubs. Jordan Thurber, who had three hits and two RBIs, singled to left to drive in Mills to help the Blazers reduce the deficit to 4-3. But Younker struck out the next batter to get his first save.

"I thought that Carl (Spessard) did a hell of a job for not knowing that he was going to pitch until a half-hour before game time," Reynolds said. "It was his first start on the high school varsity level. He threw strikes when he had to and he got the big outs. He kept us in the ballgame."

Cory Morgan had an RBI single in the second and Thurber had an RBI single in the third for the Blazers.

"I thought the kid that came out and pitched for North did a great job and he competed," Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said. "I don't think that we came off of that bus at North High today ready to play baseball. They had timely hitting today. North did a great job of breaking Aaron Mills' rhythm in the fourth inning. He just couldn't find the feel for it in the fourth inning. They just had some timely hits today and we didn't."

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