9-10 tourney: Early deficit no problem for Hancock

June 25, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Hancock remained in the hunt for Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament crown as it ousted National 12-4 in the opening round of losers’ bracket play Monday evening.

Hancock will host Conococheague on Tuesday night at 6 in the second round of the losers’ bracket.

Playing as the home team, Hancock was in a 3-0 hole after the top of the first inning but chipped away, grabbing a 4-3 lead in the third inning and never relinquishing it.

“This is definitely a better feeling than on Saturday (a 13-2 loss to Federal),” Hancock manager Wes Zirkle said. “(After the top of the first) I told them to keep their heads in the game and hang in there.”

Hancock scored three runs in the fourth inning and five in the fifth to pull away.

“The kids brought their bats today. I can’t complain,” said Zirkle. “They kept it going the rest of the game.”

National’s first three hitters reached base in the first. Michael Hawbaker was plunked by a pitch, Bradley Summers singled and Kyle Gilbert walked to load the bases. Cory Griffin got an RBI with a bases-loaded walk, before a two-run single by Kaleb Sis gave National a 3-0 lead.

“We got out to a quick start, then our bats fizzled,” said National manager Dan Bedregal.

Josh Golden’s two-run home run in the bottom of the first cut National’s lead to 3-2.

Garrett Russell drove in a run in the third as Hancock tied the game, and Nathan Smith stole home for a 4-3 advantage.

All three Hancock runs scored in the fourth came on three National errors, giving Hancock a 7-3 lead.

“Things started to snowball for us. We didn’t hit and we started making some silly errors,” Bedregal said.

Hancock scored its first run in the fifth on Elijah Zirkle’s RBI single, and Dylan Melton scored on a fielding error. Justice Allen’s RBI single put Hancock up 10-3.

Gabe Stotler’s two-run single highlighted Hancock’s five-run fifth.

“Once we got ahead, I felt pretty good about the game,” Wes Zirkle said.

Hawbaker drove in Cameron Gossert with a single in the sixth for National’s final run.

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