Hubs ride wave to West final


MIDDLETOWN, Md. -- It's amazing what a sudden jolt of confidence can do for a baseball team.

Still giddy after Friday's 11-inning win over Francis Scott Key and Monday's upset of Century, North Hagerstown rode the coattails of pitcher Greg Lynn to a 4-0 victory over Middletown in Wednesday's Maryland Class 2A West semifinals.

North will travel to face the winner of the Liberty-Walkersville semifinal in the region final on Friday. The game was suspended with the score tied at 7-all in extra innings and will resume today.

Lynn tossed six scoreless innings and struck out eight as the Hubs won despite collecting five hits and striking out 13 times.


"Monday's win did more for us than we probably know," North coach Steve Myers said. "We'll go as far as our pitching and defense will carry us."

The Hubs defense played an error-free game and Lynn was nearly flawless. The Knights loaded the bases with only one out in the first, but Lynn escaped the threat when Miles Trumpower laid out to scoop a double-play throw at first base to end the inning.

From there, Lynn retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced, including 11 in a row. After collecting a pair of singles and a walk in the first, Middletown did not reach base again until the fifth inning.

"That kid threw a great game," Knights coach Andy Baker said. "He was sharp. He had good location and was close to the plate. After that first inning, we never threatened again."

"He's been the one consistent part of our pitching staff all year," Myers said. "The only reason I took him out was because of (his inning) limitation."

Aaron Stoner pitched a hitless seventh and the Hubs reached the finals for the first time since 2006.

"We were so confident after the Century win. We knew we had to come in here and do our job," Lynn said. "(Monday) was a huge confidence boost for us."

North collected RBI doubles from Jeremy Barron in the fourth and Brian Laferte in the seventh innings to score its final two runs. A catcher's interference call with the bases loaded gave the Hubs a 1-0 lead in the first inning. North made it 2-0 when the Knights dropped a fly ball in the outfield with two outs in the third, allowing Allen Thomas to score.

Middletown (8-10) had defeated North (7-10-1) in both regular-season meetings.

Knights starting pitcher Collin May lasted just 1 2/3 innings after plunking Hubs leadoff hitter Ty Benson on the elbow on the first pitch of the game and issued four walks.

Evan Moser came on in relief for the Knights and recorded 10 strikeouts in just 4 1/3 innings.

"We knew right away (May) was in trouble," Baker said. "When he hit the guy on the first pitch of the game, that was a pretty good indicator of how things were going to go.

"I told my guys at the beginning of the season that the 2A West is wide open."

North Hagerstown 4, Middletown 0
North 101 100 1 -- 4 5 0
Middletown 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1

Lynn, Stoner (7) and Thomas. May, Moser (2) and Watkins. WP -- Lynn. LP -- May.

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