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Prep Baseball: Opportunity knocks twice for Hubs in shutout win

April 06, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Even the best baseball team won’t cash in every opportunity.

After wasting a bases-loaded situation in the first inning without scoring, North Hagerstown broke through with seven runs in the third inning and went on to post a 10-0 five-inning victory over Clear Spring.

Clear Spring also loaded the bases in the top of the first, but failed to take an early upper hand on the Hubs.

“That was a shift of momentum to us getting out of their top half of the inning,” said North coach Drew Crawford.

North’s Ben Bushong showed wildness in a 30-pitch first inning with a pair of walks following a single, but he managed to get out of the inning with two of his four strikeouts.

Clear Spring’s Jared Brant went the same route with first-inning wildness, walking three Hubs in succession after two were out, only to whiff C.J. Owings to escape the inning.

But the Hubs (6-1, 5-1 MVAL Antietam) would not waste scoring chances again.

Brant retired the first two batters before he walked Philip Pietro, who stole second and scored on a single by Alex Courtney to break the scoreless tie.

Owings and Matt Daley singled, Aaron Jones and Hunter Williams each walked, Alijah Benson and Charles Cvijanovich had singles and some errant Clear Spring defensive plays led to a 7-0 North lead at the end of the frame.

The Hubs scored a single run in the fourth without a hit and finished off the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Benson had a one-out single, Cvijanovich walked and both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Andrew Yacyk stepped in and took Logan Appel’s first pitch to the fence in right-center on one bounce for a two-run double to close out the contest.

Clear Spring (3-4, 2-4 MVAL), coming off a win over Boonsboro on Wednesday, managed only three hits off Bushong, who went 4 1/3 innings for the win before reaching his pitch limit. Yacyk finished up in relief.

After his first inning dilemma, Bushong settled down with only two more walks while striking out five.

“He made an adjustment on his delivery as the game went on,” said Crawford. “He’s a heady pitcher and can do that.”

The Hubs reached double figures in scoring for the fourth time this season, combining seven hits with nine walks.

“We’ve been working on our hitting approach on two-strike counts, trying to get pitchers deeper into the pitch count,” said Crawford.

Each North starter contributed with a run scored or a base hit.

“Most everyone in the lineup is helping,” said Crawford. “We’re getting on base and driving in runs.”

Clear Spring coach Mark Shives is in the hunt for pitching and gave Brant his opportunity.

“We need to stretch him out, work on location and get some game experience,” said Shives. “Aside from that, to beat a team like North, you have to score in the first when we had chances. We won two games this week and I’m not sure we were ready to play today.”

North Hagerstown 10, Clear Spring 0
Clear Spring    000    00    —    0    3    2
North    007    12    —    10    7    1
Brant, Kees (3), L. Appel (5) and Elwood. Bushong, Yacyk (5) and Williams. WP —Bushong. LP — Brant.

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