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Prep Baseball: Courtney's studious hitting approach helps Hubs easily pass Northwood test

May 16, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's Alex Courtney, left, gets a congratulatory fist bump from teammate Hunter Williams after driving in a run in the bottom of the second inning on Wednesday in the Hubs' 11-0 win over Northwood in the Maryland 3A West quarterfinals. Courtney had three hits, including a home run.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — As a designated hitter, Alex Courtney has nothing but time on his hands during North Hagerstown baseball games.

“I’ve only got one job as a DH and that’s to hit,” said Courtney. “I get a chance to think about my previous at-bat and I get a chance to closely study the pitcher.”

But Courtney said some of the classroom studies always helps with his approach.

“Baseball is a mental game,” Courtney said. “Studying calculus makes me sharp, integration through trigonometric substitution.”

Courtney, a junior, ripped a home run and a pair of doubles and had three RBIs to go with three runs scored as North (18-1-1) opened its playoff quest in the Maryland 3A West with an 11-0 romp over Northwood in 4 1/2 innings on Wednesday.

North will host Thomas Johnson (13-8-1), which downed Seneca Valley on Wednesday, in the semifinals today at 4 p.m. The teams played to a 4-4 draw earlier this month.

The game was finally played after a postponement on Monday, followed by Tuesday’s wipeout. The game actually started later than the scheduled 5 p.m. first-pitch on Wednesday.

Half of Northwood’s team did not arrive until shortly after 5 — only some dressed to play — because of AP testing.

North backed the pitching of Aaron Jones and Troy Carbaugh with a 13-hit attack to immediately put Northwood (6-13) to the test.

Charles Cvijanovich walked and eventually scored the first run on Andrew Yacyk’s groundout. Philip Pietro and Courtney hit back-to-back doubles with two outs to produce a second run before Zane Schreiber singled to score Courtney for a 3-0 lead.

Cvijanovich set the tone in the second with a leadoff triple. He scored on a single by Matt Daley, who came home on Yacyk’s bomb that carried 400 feet to an electric pole in dead center.

The Hubs scored two more in the inning and also left the bases loaded for a second straight inning.

In a three-run third, Yacyk tripled and scored on a single by Dylan Wagner, who then trotted home on Courtney’s home run.

“We found the gaps with the bats by squaring up at the plate,” said coach Drew Crawford.

Jones pitched three innings, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out five. With the game in hand, Crawford was able to save Jones for later in the week.

Carbaugh drew praise from Crawford after his first pitching appearance of the season. He allowed two hits in his two-inning stint.

“This was his first game of the year,” said Crawford. “He has worked his tail off. He is the epitomé of what a team player is about.”

North Hagerstown 11, Northwood 0
Northwood    000    00    —    0    1    1
North    353    0x    —    11    13    0
Garcia, Stinson (2) and Winich. Jones, Carbaugh (4) and Williams, Stone (5). WP — Jones. LP — Garcia. HR — NH: Yacyk (2nd, one on); Courtney (3rd, one on).

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