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Hawks lose World Series opener

May 25, 2008

GRAND JUNCTION, Co. - Like a pop radio station, the hits kept on playing for Grayson (Tex.) Community College in the NJCAA Division I World Series.

In front of a crowd of 10,008, Grayson's bats went to work early and often and the Vikings blasted 16 hits and rolled past Hagerstown Community College 18-2 for a 5-inning mercy rule win in the final game of the first round.

The Hawks (40-18), making their third appearance in the World Series and first since 1993, dropped into the losers bracket in the 10-team, double elimination tournament and will play Tuesday at 1 p.m. (Hagerstown time) against the loser of Monday's Chipola (Fla.)-Alvin (Tex). contest in an elimination game.

"We were a little overmatched offensively," said HCC coach Scott Jennings. "They were hitting some really good pitches and they were hitting bad pitches."

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Grayson struck in the first inning against HCC's Aerik Taylor with singles by Michael Reed and J.D. Alfaro before Bo Coffman ripped a two-run triple.

The Vikings (44-15) came back for three runs in the second with Alfaro roping a two-run double.

Hagerstown made it 5-1 in the bottom of the second on a two-out walk to Alex Stover, who moved to second on a balk and scored on a single by Charles Johnson.

If things weren't off to a bad enough start, the fourth inning made reality set in as the Vikings plated seven runs for a 14-1 lead.

Taylor gave up a double and walk to start the inning and was replaced by Cory Livengood, who yielded five runs and four hits of his own before Kyle Briggs put out the fire.

Roland Thiele got one run back in the fourth, blasting a long home run to right off Grayson's Conrad Flynn, his 11th of the season.

The parade continued in the fifth that included home runs from Stuart Slakey and Alfaro.

Hagerstown had five hits off Flynn, two by Johnson.

"I liked our approach at the plate but (Grayson) made some really nice defensive plays, especially the shortstop (Alfaro)," said Jennings. "This will be an easy game to forget about. We got waxed and we won't be sitting up thinking about any 'what if's.' We played hard."

It was only the second game this season Hagerstown had allowed more than 10 runs in a game.

LINESCORE

Grayson 18, Hagerstown 2

Grayson 232 74 -- 18 16 0
Hagerstown 010 10 -- 2 5 3
Flynn and Walker. Taylor, Livengood (4), Briggs (4), Sutherland (5) and Knight. WP--Flynn (10-2). LP--Taylor (4-6). HR--HCC: Thiele 11 (4th, none on); G: Slakey (5th, none on), Alfaro 19 (5th, one on).

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