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Patient Hubs rewarded with berth in state finals

May 26, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

GAMBRILLS, Md. -- Aaron Stottlemyer plays baseball by one motto. The North Hagerstown baseball team decided to adopt it.

"I go up to the plate with one motto in mind: 'I want it more,'" Stottlemyer said. "I know if I do that, I will get it before the other guy."

Stottlemyer laid down a key suicide squeeze bunt and the Hubs used a lot of patience for an eight-run sixth inning en route to a 10-4 victory over Hammond on Tuesday in the Maryland Class 2A state semifinals at Arundel High School.

The victory sends the Hubs (16-6) to the 2A state final against Parkside (18-6), a 10-6 winner over Eastern Tech, on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. North will be playing in its first state final since 2005.

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North, which trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, scored eight runs on just two hits and seven walks against Hammond (21-3). The Golden Bears allowed five runs to score on wild pitches and one on a balk in the inning.

Stottlemyer was the first batter against relief pitcher Sam Beatty, who replaced Hammond starter Danny Wissmann. Stottlemyer's suicide squeeze bunt rolled ten feet to the right of the plate, scoring Philip Pietro with the tying run, and Stottlemyer beat the throw to first to keep the bases loaded.

"That was the second time in the tournament that I had to do a suicide squeeze," Stottlemyer said. "First time was against Century and it won the game, 1-0. Coach (Steve Myers) told me to get it down and luckily I beat it out."

Myers never had a doubt on calling the play.

"I said we were squeezing right away," Myers said. "I even told the runner at second (Cody Dillow) that he was going all the way from second, but Aaron beat it out and it kept things going."

Hammond, which scored 10 or more runs in 14 of its 21 wins, fell apart from there, using three relief pitchers.

In one sequence, reliever Travis Clark threw two wild pitches and balked in a run. The only other hit for North was a bloop single by Ty Benson to bring in what proved to be the winning run.

"All it took was for us to get the first pitcher out of the game," Myers said. "We finally got it in the sixth. (Hammond) has been up all year and they have not been challenged like this."

North trailed 4-2 after 5 1/2 innings, but it could have been a lot worse if it weren't for the resilience of starting pitcher Corey Carpenter. He struggled through much of the game, going deep in counts and issuing five walks, but managed to hold Hammond to four single-run innings and keep the Hubs in the game.

"Like I said before, this was potentially our last game and with me being a senior, I left it all out there," Carpenter said. "Hammond is one heck of a team, but we played great defense and stayed in there."

North took a 1-0 lead in the first against a shaky Wissmann, who entered the game with a 7-0 record and a 1.57 ERA. The Hubs loaded the bases on singles by Charles Cvijanovich and Benson around a walk drawn by Stottlemyer. Ryan Sword drew a walk to bring in the run.

Hammond scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings, using aggressive base running to make it 3-1. North made it 3-2 in the fourth on an RBI single by Pietro.

Hammond went up 4-2 in the sixth on a triple by Matt Shiflett and a sacrifice fly by Joey Logan to set the stage for North's rally.

Conner Spessard pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for the victory. Carpenter went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and striking out seven.

Pietro led North's seven-hit attack with two hits and two RBIs.

"From the beginning of the year, the goal was to reach the state final," Carpenter said. "This is a dream come true. The last time North won the title was in 1989, and we're doing to do it this year."

North Hagerstown 10, Hammond 4
Hammond 011 101 0 -- 4 8 1
N. Hagerstown 100 108 x -- 10 7 2

Wissmann, Beatty (6), Tr. Clarke (6), Logan (6) and Shiflett. Carpenter, Spessard (6) and Allen. WP -- Spessard. LP -- Beatty.

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