HAGERSTOWN — North Hagerstown’s Aaron Stoner had nothing on the mound on Monday in the first inning against South Hagerstown.
It’s what he did after that inning to rally his teammates to produce a 5-3 MVAL Antietam baseball victory.
South Hagerstown hammered the Hubs’ right-hander for three runs on five hits for a 3-0 lead, but North took little steps in fighting back that culminated with Andrew Yacyk’s two-run double in the sixth inning.
“I didn’t really have focus and concentration in the first inning,” said Stoner. “Things got a little better in the second inning and I just started to relax.”
Stoner allowed only one hit and two walks over the next five innings, including the sixth when he struck out the side, before he was lifted for closer Aaron Jones in the seventh.
An error and run-scoring singles by Trevor Haupt and Jordan Nicewarner staked the Rebels (5-7, 3-7) and pitcher Riley Stephenson to the early lead.
“You’re in the game until the end and that means we still had six innings to get back into it,” said North coach Steve Myers. “We just needed to get on base and get some clutch hits.”
The Hubs (9-5, 8-3) started their march back in the third with one-out singles by Yacyk and Stoner. They scored on two-out hits by Alex Courtney and C.J. Owings for two runs.
In the fourth, Matt Daley led off with a triple that got past a diving effort by South center fielder Hunter Phillips. Daley eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by C.J. Cvijanovich for a 3-all tie.
“That was a heckuva effort by the boy in center,” said South coach Ralph Stottlemyer.
The Hubs’ first two men reached base in the fifth on walks but Myers disdained any sacrifice efforts to move up runners.
The move, or lack thereof, did not hurt North.
With Jordan Dickens pitching in relief of Stephenson to start the sixth, Daley singled and was sacrificed to second by Cvijanovich before Ty Benson walked.
Yacyk took Dicken’s 3-1 pitch to deep right-center for two runs and the final margin of victory as Jones closed the door in the seventh under a darkening sky.
“My fastball started moving more and that started to set up some other pitches,” said Stoner, who finished with eight strikeouts.
“(Stoner) made the adjustment along the line and our bats suddenly went dead after the first inning,” said Stottlemyer. “We’ve still got plenty of baseball to play this week for seeding.”
North Hagerstown 5, South Hagerstown 3
South 300 000 0 — 3 6 1
North 002 102 x — 5 9 2
Stephenson, Dickens (6), Miller (6) and Haupt. Stoner, Jones (7) and Williams. WP — Stoner (3-1). LP — Dickens (0-1). S — Jones (2).