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Prep Baseball: Hubs cap region championship

May 18, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's Charles Cvijanovich (4) fields a throw as Rockville's Brady Petrie slides in safely at second base in the fourth inning of Friday's Maryland Class 3A West baseball final at North.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — North Hagerstown got in the groove early, fended off a pesky Rockville nine and then put the finishing touches on a Maryland Class 3A West region championship on Friday.

The Hubs (20-1-1) earned a spot in the state semifinals with an 8-3 victory over Rockville and will meet the winner of Friday’s North Harford-Towson game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harman, Md.

“The key, going all the way back to when we met the first day as a team, was to be prepared and to do whatever it took to reach this goal,” said North first-year coach Drew Crawford.

And doing whatever is exactly what the Hubs have done — whether it’s been with the bats, on the mound or defensively.

Andrew Yacyk once again was on his game with the bat with a first-inning, run-scoring double and a home run in the second inning with the bases juiced.

Charles Cvijanovich opened the bottom of the first with a ringing double and, after Matt Daley flied out, Yacyk stroked a double off of Rockville’s Sam Kane for a 1-0 lead.

“It always seems that whenever Charles gets on base I’m able to drive him in,” said Yacyk.

He did it again in the second when the Hubs mounted a two-out rally.

With Ben Bushong on first following a single, Cvijanovich got a base hit and Daley walked to set up Yacyk’s grand slam to center field, his 11th homer of the year.

“The pitch was a fastball in on my hands but I was waiting for it,” said Yacyk.

The slam gave him five RBIs for the game and 51 for the season, eclipsing both Kevin Goode of Brunswick’s MVAL record of 47 RBIs set in 1999 and the state single-season mark of 48, set by Hammond’s Jason Maxey in 2001.

“(Yacyk) is a big time player and he carried us in the three games this week,” said Crawford.

The Rams (13-6) threatened against Bushong in the second but failed to score. They got on the board with three runs in the third, set up by a leadoff error and followed by two singles, a double and force play.

Rockville put up a serious challenge in the fourth with two runners on, but Bushong was able to escape when Greg Brown hit a one-hop smash that Yacyk flagged down at first to retire the Rams.

Kane collected himself after the Yacyk homer and retired the Hubs easily until North broke loose for three runs in the fifth.

Alex Courtney opened with a single and was sacrificed to second by Zane Schrieber. John Britton then delivered a run-scoring single for a 6-3 lead.

Troy Carbaugh, who was pinch-running for Britton, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out. Austin Stone walked and, with Kane in a set position, broke for second.

Kane made the throw to second where Stone was ruled safe. Carbaugh came in from third on the play for a 7-3 lead and Cvijanovich made it 8-3 when he drove in Stone with a single.

Cvijanovich has been excellent in the leadoff position from the midpoint of the season and added three hits Friday.

“At first I was looking for walks and if I didn’t get a fastball on the first pitch I wasn’t swinging,” said Cvijanovich, a member of North’s 2010 state championship team. “This team is better than the 2010 team. We weren’t built then like we are now.”

Rockville mounted a major threat in the sixth and had the bases loaded against reliever Britton, who came in for Bushong in the fifth.

The Rams got two walks and a single, but Crawford brought in Yacyk to got Brown on a liner to right field to squelch the uprising.

Yacyk couldn’t go the easy route in the seventh, giving up two hits and hitting a batter that loaded the bases before he bore down to strike out the last two batters.

“I threw some shaky balls, but we still got the outs,” said Yacyk.

Bushong ended with the win allowing three unearned runs on five hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.

“We faced some adversity today and came through,” said Crawford. “(Ben) wasn’t on his game today, but minimized any problems.”

North Hagerstown 8, Rockville 3
Rockville    003    000    0    —    3    8    1
North    140    030    x    —    8    9    1
Kane and Raiten. Bushong, Britton (5), Yacyk (6) and Williams. WP—Bushong. LP—Kane. SV—Yacyk. HR—NH: Yacyk (2nd, three on).

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