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HCC is fashionable with late-arriving offense

May 02, 2009|By JACK HILL III

The Hagerstown Community College baseball team played the waiting game and won.

The Hawks closed out the regular season Saturday by using late rallies to defeat Baltimore 9-1, 5-4 in a Maryland JuCo Conference doubleheader.

"It seemed like in both games it took us a while to get going offensively," HCC coach Scott Jennings said. "In the first game, we didn't bust through until the fifth inning. In the second game, we waited until the sixth and seventh innings."

Baltimore (4-34, 3-25) pushed HCC to the wall in the second game by taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. HCC (37-15, 20-10) avoided the loss with two runs in the sixth and three runs in he seventh to pull out the victory.

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Matt Greene led off the seventh with a double to center and scored on Daniel Heatwole's single to right. Travis Sluger had an infield single with one out and Justin Everhart was hit by a pitch with two outs to load the bases. Kameron Armacost won the game by hitting an 0-2 pitch for a two-run single to center.

"It was kind of nerve-wracking at first," Armacost said. "They threw me a fastball outside and I decided that I'd better hit it. We battled back. We strung some hits together to pull one out."

The chain of events sat well with Jennings.

"We were down to our last out and our last strike," Jennings said. "Kameron probably came through with the biggest hit of his career so far."

John Byrum pitched a scoreless inning of relief to earn the win and improve his record to 4-0.

In the opener, HCC's starting pitcher Kyle Briggs struck out eight in six innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk to raise his record to 8-2.

"I pitched well," Briggs said. "The defense behind me was tight. I kept the ball low and I kept them off balance. I feel pretty strong about our team's chances in the tournament. If we can play up to our level, then we can go back to Grand Junction (Colo., or the World Series)."

Greene and Charles Johnson had two hits and two RBIs each for HCC, while Armacost added two hits. Every HCC starter hit safely in the opener.

HCC is the top seed and will host Chesapeake in the Region XX Tournament on Friday. Chesapeake defeated Garrett 8-3 in the play-in game.

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