2018 North Hagerstown Hubs
Hubs storm back to take down South, 14-11
by Tim Koelble, Herald-Mail
South Hagerstown had North Hagerstown on the ropes early, ahead by seven runs after two innings.
But, there was much more action ahead and the Hubs made the march all the way back, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 14-11 CMC Spires win Friday at South.
“We’re down by seven and I told the kids our goal was to come out in the third and get at least half of the runs back,” North coach Denny Talbert said.
Just a bit better than that, North (6-5 CMC, 8-8) chopped the deficit to 7-4 and added two more in the fourth to make it 7-6. Doesn’t seem like much, especially when South answered with four runs in its half of the fourth to extend its lead to 11-6.
“We had to score early to have a chance to get back in it,” said Talbert.
When South sent Seth Hartman to the showers with two out in the fourth, in came Nate Binkley and there went the Rebels.
Simple baseball plan: relief pitcher comes in and holds the other team down and gives his teammates a chance. Bingo!
Binkley, a senior righthander, had his best going against the Rebels.
When he entered the game, South (1-12 CMC, 0-9) had two runners on base. Binkley quickly got out of the inning when he picked Cade Shifflett off first. Over the next three full innings, Binkley allowed no hits, walked one and struck three, retiring the last eight batters in a row.
“I was throwing all three of my pitches on both corners,” said Binkley.
With Binkley doing his work on the mound, his teammates did every little thing they could, scoring five runs on one hit along with four walks, a hit batsman and key error that opened the floodgates.
South had played a decent game defensively to that point, much better than several recent games when six, seven errors were the norm.
With one on and one out in the top of the sixth, Ian Selby hit a crisp grounder to second but the made-to-order, double-play ball misfired and the Hubs took advantage.
After quickly retiring South, the Hubs faced James Coats and worked their way for three runs.
Scott Neal walked leading off, his fifth straight time reaching base and went to second when Coats threw an errant pickoff try wide of first. Selby then ripped a single through the left side.
Running on contact, Neal scored the go-ahead run when Cam Casey grounded to short, with Selby taking second. Selby made it 13-11 on a double by John Hardman, a shot that hit off the fence in left field. Hardman advanced to third on a fly ball and then scored the final run on a wild pitch.
“I’m just happy the way the team hung in there and fought after being seven runs down,” said Talbert. “The big difference in the game was Binkley’s effort.”
But the finish of the game was highlighted by a defensive gem by North centerfielder Chase Metz in the bottom of the seventh.
With one out, Shifflett ripped a drive into left-center that had double all over it. But the very quick Metz raced some 25 yards to his right and made the last-ditch dive for the ball, getting enough of it in the web of his glove, rolling over his left shoulder and turning around quickly to show the umpire the ball, which was half out of his glove.
“That might be one of my best,” said Metz, who had made a very similar catch against South in the first inning the first time the teams met. “I had a good look at the ball off the bat.”
In reaching base five times, Neal had a double, single, two walks and was hit once. Selby and Hardman each had two hits.
South had a defensive gem of its own in the third inning when North looked as though it might score more than the four it did get.
With the sacks loaded Ryan Talbert hit a bouncer back to South pitcher Steve Ricketts, who tossed to Shifflett at the plate, who in turn fired a one-hopper to first that was played beautifully by Coats. With Talbert bearing down on him, Coats was able to snag the hop for an inning-ending double play.
North starter Hartman deserved a better fate in South’s seven-run second inning as a pair of North errors were costly.
Kyle Adams had three of South’s eight hits with a double and two singles, accounting for three RBIs. His double topped off South’s second-inning uprising.
2018 North Hagerstown Hubs Baseball
Head Coach: Denny Talbert
Fr Ian Selby
So Scott Neal
Jr Will Grove
Jr Gavin Anderson
Jr Brandon Gasaway
Jr Nate Binkley
Jr Camden Casey
Jr Alex Walter
Jr Chase Metz
Jr Spencer Martin
Jr Seth Hartman
Sr Kaleb Corbin
Sr Justin Akins
Sr Dylan Eyler
Sr Brady Munson
Sr Trace Bender
Junior Varsity Roster:
Fr Owen Strite
Fr Matt Eyler
Fr Sam Semler
Fr Nathan Walker
Fr Connor Bowers
Fr Grant Anderson
Fr Cole Brechbill
So Chris Jennings
So Luke Coulter
So Jackson Sindaco
So Chase McCoy
So Bailey Wilson
So Jakob Connor
So Ryan Socks
So Ryan Clark
So John Hardman
So Sam Hardman