BOONSBORO — Ethan Souders went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Hancock held on to a late-inning lead to beat South Mountain 5-3 in the opening round of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament.
In the top of the first, Souders hit the first of his two doubles to put Hancock up early. He eventually scored on an error to make it 2-0 Hancock.
South Mountain retaliated in the bottom of the first. Brock Smith hit a two-out RBI triple and scored on an error to tie the game at 2-2.
In the second, Souders singled to drive in Nathan Smith and give Hancock a one-run edge.
Then Souders took the mound.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the second, Souders came on in relief and struck out the next two batters. He struck out nine of the 12 batters he faced, giving up only one hit and allowing one walk.
Hancock extended its lead to 5-2 in the fourth. Cooper Grove singled and was brought home by Josh Golden on an RBI double, his second hit of the night. Souders followed with his second double to bring in Golden.
It would prove to be all the runs Hancock would need, but it did get close.
In the bottom of the sixth with two outs and no one on base, South Mountain began to stir.
Jacob Humbel drew his third walk of the game before coming around to score on two passed balls and an error. Another walk put another runner on, and it looked as if South Mountain could surge back.
But the game came to a close with a soft pop-up to the pitcher.
“It was a pretty competitive game,” said Hancock manager John Smith. “Real nailbiter there at the end. Looked like it was gonna get carried away, but we pulled through.”
Hancock will host Federal today at 1 p.m. South Mountain will host either Valley or Clear Spring on Monday.