Prep Baseball: Hubs eliminated by Mooney's gem

North Harford pitcher throws perfect game

May 22, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • North Hagerstown's Andrew Yacyk (13) gets the late throw at first base as North Harford's Cody Brittain is safe in the top of the third inning of Tuesday night's Maryland Class 3A state semifinal baseball game at Joe Cannon Stadium.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HARMANS, Md. — Kevin Mooney rendered North Hagerstown’s hitters helpless on Tuesday night.

North Harford’s senior right-hander showed the Hubs how he’s mounted impressive numbers this season during the Maryland Class 3A state semifinal.

When Mooney struck out Andrew Yacyk for a third time in the top of the seventh inning, he finished off a perfect game as North Harford posted a 4-0 victory over the Hubs at Joe Cannon Stadum.

“Never in 26 years have I seen a performance like that,” said North Hagerstown coach Drew Crawford.

Mooney came into the game with an 8-0 record — the same as Hubs starting pitcher J.T. Root. Mooney had a 0.27 ERA and allowed only 18 hits while striking out 96 in 51 innings before the semifinal.

On Tuesday, he struck out 11 and helped save the gem himself in the seventh.

Charles Cvijanovich led off and hit a chopper to the right side of the infield that Mooney had to field. He momentarily overran the ball, but retreated quickly enough to make the toss to first and beat Cvijanovich.

Other than that, Mooney’s 74-pitch gem seemed easy. He often used a breaking ball early in the count, backed it with a 90 mph fastball, and got punchouts on curveballs.

“We came here as prepared as much as we could be,” said Crawford. “He throws a ball that just comes in and up on you so fast.”

Mooney’s worst count in the game came immediately after making the play on Cviajnovich.

Facing Matt Daley, he fell behind 2-0 before he came back to strike out Daley, then Yacyk on a called third strike.

The best-hit ball by the Hubs (20-2-1) all night came in the fourth, when Cvijanovich sent a fly ball to medium-deep center.

Root (8-1) was the hard-luck loser with all four runs against him unearned — two each in the sixth and seventh innings — after he went toe-to-toe with Mooney.

In the sixth, an error by Aaron Jones with one on and one out, followed by a hit batsman, left the bases loaded.

North Harford’s Alec Mouring tried a squeeze bunt and hit it foul, but tried it again two pitches later and was successful, pushing across Mooney with the first run while Yacyk tried to scoop the bunt to the plate. Brian Shaffer then dropped his own squeeze bunt down in front of Jones — who charged in from third — that scored Jon Hammer with the second run.

In the seventh, another error, a stolen base, an RBI double and an RBI single produced two more runs and finished off Root.

“Those bunts were indefensible,” said Crawford. “I tip my hat to them.”

Root went 6 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking only one and striking out seven.

“J.T. had a heck of an effort tonight,” said Crawford.

North Harford (23-2) moves onto the championship game Saturday at Cal Ripken Stadium against J.M. Bennett, a 6-1 victor over LaPlata in the other semifinal game.

North Harford 4, North Hagerstown 0
N. Harford    000    002    2    —    4    10    0
N. Hagerstown    000    000    0    —    0    0    0
Mooney and Hammer. Root, Britton (7) and Williams. WP — Mooney (9-0). LP — Root (8-1).

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