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Prep Baseball: Bushong, Hubs dedicate win to No. 6

May 09, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's Philip Pietro is tagged out at second base by Catoctin's Alex Kennedy for the second out in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday at North.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The minute Ben Bushong took the mound, the Catoctin baseball team was outnumbered.

That’s because the North Hagerstown starter wasn’t alone on the hill.

Bushong dedicated his last regular-season start to Williamsport’s Brendon Colliflower, who died along with Samantha Kelly in a car crash last weekend. He responded by allowing three hits over six innings on Wednesday in the Hubs’ 6-2 victory on Senior Day.

Bushong switched uniforms, trading his normal No. 19 for No. 6, the same number Colliflower wore as a pitcher for Williamsport. The Hubs also wrote a No. 6 on the mound.

“We wanted to do something nice for Brendon and Sam because we all knew them,” Bushong said.

Playing a strong game may have been the best honor of all as the Hubs played errorless ball and did what they needed to for a win in a meaningless MVAL Antietam matchup.

North erased a 1-0 deficit with two runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings against an army of Cougars pitchers to take control of a game that was played entirely in the rain.

“I told the guys we had to approach this game as if it were a playoff game,” said North coach Drew Crawford. “If Catoctin would be in our (playoff) bracket, they would be the second seed. If we could play them tough, we can play with anyone.

“It all starts with the starting pitching. Ben pitched his tail off. When our pitchers do that, we know that we only have to score three or four runs to win.”

Bushong was strong from the start, but Catoctin managed to manufacture a run in the second. Josh Latamore led off with a double down the left-field line and scored on consecutive sacrifice bunts by Seth Schubert and Jonathan Carroll for the 1-0 lead.

“I was feeling my stuff and just pitching to contact,” Bushong said. “I knew if I did that, the defense behind me would get the outs.”

North (17-1-1, 12-1) took the lead in the third with two runs off reliever Andrew Weaver. Aaron Jones drew a leadoff walk and stole second before scoring on Charles Cvijanovich’s single to left that was bobbled.

The Hubs took the lead when Alex Courtney drew a bases-loaded walk.

North extended the lead in the fourth against Joseph Johnson as Bushong led off with a single and gave way to courtesy runner Troy Carbaugh, who scored on a Cvijanovich double. Cvijanovich eventually scored when working a double-steal play with Matt Daley, who reached on a walk.

Catoctin got a run back in the fifth before the Hubs iced the game with their final two runs. Philip Pietro led off with a single and scored on a Courtney double. Courtney scored when Cvijanovich drew a bases-loaded walk.

Bushong began to struggle late in the game while dealing with the cold and wet conditions, but still only walked three while striking out seven. Dylan Dopson pitched the seventh inning.

Courtney and Cvijanovich each drove in two runs.

The Hubs were awarded the top seed in the Maryland Class 3A West tournament and received a bye in the first round.

“We haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Crawford said. “We got our goal to be seeded and we did that. Now it’s time to turn the page. We haven’t reached any of our postseason goals yet.”

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