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Hawks try to make memories

May 27, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

Hagerstown Community College coach Scott Jennings said Sunday's 18-2 loss to Grayson County (Texas) College was "easy to forget."

Today, the Hawks will be looking to make the game they play in the NJCAA Division I World Series one to remember.

The Hawks meet defending champion Chipola (Fla.) College today at 1 p.m. in a losers' bracket game. Chipola, a 11-8 loser to Alvin (Texas) Community College on Monday, and HCC will be playing for survival as the winner plays on and the loser makes plans to go home from Grand Junction, Colo.

"There were no 'what if's' over that loss," said Jennings, who put his troops through a workout before they watched the Chipola-Alvin contest. "We played hard, but we got waxed."

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Grayson's outburst was the third highest offensive output through the first seven games of the tournament.

"The theme here has been big, hard-hitting teams," said Jennings.

The Vikings started right away against HCC starter Aerik Taylor. By the time the former Williamsport star was relieved in the top of the fourth, Grayson held a 7-1 lead.

Grayson never let up, proceeding to knock around Cory Livengood, making it 14-1 by the end of the fourth inning.

"They hit good pitches and bad pitches," Jennings said of Taylor's offerings. "They just overmatched us."

HCC (40-18) produced its only offensive highlights in the second inning when Charles Johnson had a run-scoring single to plate Alex Stover and in the fourth inning when Roland Thiele launched a home run, his 11th of the year.

HCC hit the ball well but the Vikings made two outstanding defensive plays in the second before the Hawks got on the board. Grayson shortstop J.D. Alfaro made two crowd-pleasing plays in the fourth before HCC scored again.

The Hawks committed three errors and misplayed two fly balls in a high twilight sky.

Jennings said he was hoping for a good start as the Hawks played before a crowd of 10,008.

"I'd almost say there were some nerves and I thought it was important to get through the first inning but we didn't," said Jennings.

Jennings was undecided who would get today's start. Even though Livengood pitched briefly, he was still available as a possible starter, but it was likely the HCC coach would turn to South Hagerstown graduate Spencer Cromer, who hurled the opening-game win over Pitt (N.C.) in the Eastern District.

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