The numbers North Hagerstown has put on the stats sheet certainly show why the Hubs are 8-1.
Through nine games, North is averaging 12 runs a game on nearly 11 hits and the generosity of six walks.
That makes for plenty of opportunities at the plate for individuals, and no one has done better than shortstop Matt Daley.
Daley has a slugging percentage of 1.105 and an on-base percentage of .774, both astronomical numbers. He has 33 total bases on a whopping .684 average that includes five doubles and one home run.
Philip Pietro also has played big, sporting a .538 average with three doubles, two triples, four home runs and 23 RBIs to lead the area. He also has walked nine times, is 11-for-11 in steals, is slugging 1.269 and has a .743 on-base percentage.
* After an early-season struggle with personnel, Williamsport appears to be turning the corner, having posted four straight wins following a loss at Catoctin.
The Wildcats, who are slated to host Brunswick on Friday, can move closer to North in the MVAL Antietam standings with a win. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
Williamsport is 4-2 in the Antietam, while Brunswick stands at 4-1.
* One pitcher who has seen extensive time on the mound is Berkeley Springs right-hander Tyler Holt.
The junior has been a one-man staff for the Indians, with a 4-0 record and 0.72 earned run average. In 39 innings, Holt has allowed only 19 hits, six walks, and four earned runs while striking out 54.
Thursday’s boys and girls games between Smithsburg and North Hagerstown were postponed in the wake of the death of Smithsburg student Mitchell Akers on Wednesday.
The games have been rescheduled for April 27. The boys will play at Smithsburg, the girls at North.
Akers sustained a head injury Tuesday morning when he fell from a four-wheel-drive vehicle while working for the Hagerstown Suns at Municipal Stadium. He was pronounced dead Wednesday at Washington Hospital Center.
Akers was a member of the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams at Smithsburg, though he did not wrestle or play lacrosse in his senior season due to a shoulder injury he suffered in football last fall.
* South Hagerstown boys coach Dave Tallant knew he would have mixed emotions the first time the Rebels faced North Hagerstown this season.
Tallant coached North for three seasons before moving across town to lead South this year.
“I really care about the young men I’ve been able to coach on both sides,” Tallant said. “It was a challenge. But no matter what happened, win or lose, I wanted those gentlemen to know I care about them and I care about their growth in the sport.”
As North’s starters were introduced, each player met Tallant at the midfield line to shake hands. Some — like Peter Perini, Alex Unger and Matt Hetzer — got a hug and a word in the ear from Tallant.
“The hug said it all,” Tallant said. “I just told them I wanted them to have a great game.”
South led 3-2 after one quarter, but North rallied to beat the Rebels 17-6.
It’s been a banner season so far for Clear Spring.
Both of the Blazers’ teams are undefeated (8-0, 7-0) through their first of two cycles through the MVAL Antietam.
The Blazers’ boys swept Williamsport (3-2, 3-1) and Smithsburg (4-2, 3-2) and held off North Hagerstown (5-2, 4-2) by a 3-2 score in their closest team battle, overcoming two singles losses by sweeping the three doubles contests.
Zac O’Neal (7-1) is tied atop the No. 1 singles records list with North’s Max Ober (7-1), though Ober did win their head-to-head matchup 7-6 (7), 6-1. Corey McClure is 6-2 at No. 2 singles, Andrew Shupp and Scott Hovermale are undefeated (8-0) at No. 1 doubles, and four other Clear Spring teams are a combined 12-1.
Cory Caudell and Nick Brandt are at 4-0 at No. 2 doubles and Caudell and Levi Bucher are 2-1 at that spot. Brandt and Zach Robertson are 3-0 at No. 3 doubles, as are Robertson and Johnny Henesy.
Clear Spring’s boys have won 37 of the 41 matches they have played.
The Blazers’ girls handed North (6-2, 6-1) its only loss by a 4-1 score, and have matched the boys team by also winning 37 of their 41 matches.
Miranda Kearney — who won the Washington County Tournament singles title last year — is off to a perfect start (8-0), while Miranda Speak is 7-1 at No. 2 singles.
Dominique Forsman and Samantha Michael are a perfect 7-0 at No. 2 doubles. Jess Barnhart and Jamie Humbertson (4-2) have been solid at No. 1 doubles, and Clear Spring is 7-1 overall at No. 3 doubles, with Zoie O’Neal going 5-1 with Abby Pinkham and 2-0 with Isabel Forsman.
* There’s plenty of tough competition on an individual basis for boys singles players.
At the No. 1 spot, Ober’s only loss this season came against Boonsboro’s Serge Aleshin-Guendel, 6-3, 7-6 (6). Aleshin-Guendel (5-2) suffered his only county loss to O’Neal, 7-5, 6-4.
The No. 2 singles competition is equally stiff. North’s Drew Brady (7-1), Saint James’ Emmett Orfan (5-1), Williamsport’s Stephen Flessner (5-1) and St. Maria Goretti’s Aaron Snook (4-1) all have just one loss.
Flessner handed Brady his loss, 6-1, 6-2, in the season opener. Orfan beat Snook 10-5 in an early-season battle. Flessner’s loss came against Clear Spring’s McClure. Orfan’s only loss came against Sidwell Friends.
* On the girls side, Saint James’ top two singles players — Sara Worth Hodges and Rose Chiumento — have both won their first three matches of the season to stay with Kearney in the undefeated ranks.
Goretti’s Laura Winalski is 5-1 at No. 2 singles, her only loss coming against Chiumento.
Boonsboro’s No. 1 doubles team of Ashlyn Hawbaker and Sarah Colgan (7-0) are rolling as expected. The duo went 35-3 over the past two seasons playing mostly No. 2 doubles and finished second at the county tournament both years to teammates Alice D’Alauro and Erin Scally — who graduated after the 2011 season.
Track & Field
South Hagerstown will host its 33rd annual Rebel Relays on Friday at School Stadium, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
South and North Hagerstown will be the only Washington County schools competing. They’ll be joined by Allegany, Brunswick and Silver Oak Academy.
The meet is usually larger (10 schools last year) with more Washington County teams (five last year), but there were too many events to choose from this weekend.
Smithsburg is hosting its 15th annual Charas Heurich Invitational on Saturday, while Boonsboro and Williamsport are heading to the Don Boyer Invitational at Middletown on Saturday.
Also, Hancock is hosting Clear Spring in a dual meet Friday.
Thirteen schools from three states are set to compete at Smithsburg on Saturday — Catoctin, Reginald Lewis, Winters Mill, Frederick, Francis Scott Key, Silver Oak Academy (boys only), Mount de Sales Academy (girls only) and Smithsburg from Maryland; Hedgesville, Jefferson and Washington from West Virginia; and Stone Bridge and Sherando from Virginia.
— This week’s prep notebook was compiled by sports editor Mark Keller, assistant sports editor Andrew Mason and staff writers Dan Kauffman and Tim Koelble.