Hugh­esville reaches state tour­na­ment fi­nal

11-12 base­ball team holds on for win over Lau­rel

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

On an evening that be­gan with youth­ful Ha­ley Arnold per­form­ing a ren­di­tion of the Na­tional An­them on her vi­o­lin, the Hugh­esville 11- and 12-year-old base­ball team de­liv­ered a vir­tu­oso per­for­mance with its bats en route to an 8-7 vic­tory over Lau­rel on Tues­day in the state tour­na­ment at Robert D. Stethem Park in Wal­dorf.

Hugh­esville ad­vanced to Thurs­day’s cham­pi­onship round opener and could re­turn on Fri­day for a pos­si­ble “if” game. Tues­day evening, the lo­cal squad dis­played plenty of re­silience and a hint of in­sight when it out­lasted Lau­rel in the win­ners’ bracket fi­nal.

“This team just bat­tles,” Hugh­esville coach Ch­ester Bowl­ing said. “We gave up three runs in the top of the first in­ning, but we came right back. We got good pitch­ing and we still have all but one pitcher who can throw on Thurs­day or Fri­day. We came up with some big hits and we needed them be­cause Lau­rel has some re­ally good hit­ters.”

Lau­rel scored three runs in the top of the first in­ning against Hugh­esville start­ing pitcher Allen Miller. With one out, both Eli­jah Clary and Michael Stroud sin­gled, then Mar­cus Jones crushed a Miller pitch over the fence in right-cen­ter field for a three-run home run and an early 3-0 Lau­rel lead, but it did not last long.

Hugh­esville’s Cole Hark­ness beat out an in­field sin­gle, took sec­ond on a wild pitch then scored on a sin­gle to cen­ter by Miller. Af­ter Chet Bowl­ing reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Miller

Ch­ester Bowl­ing said of giving Jones a free pass in the fifth. “I wasn’t about to pitch to him again.”

Borges then earned the save when he fanned the first two Lau­rel bat­ters in the sixth and then in­duced An­ders Kvale to ground out to sec­ond. The game’s fi­nal play was hardly rou­tine, how­ever, as Brown fielded the ball cleanly then fell back­wards and then threw to first while sit­ting on the in­field dirt.

Hugh­esville’s 11-12 base­ball team is the last lo­cal team from the District 7 Lit­tle League cham­pi­ons stand­ing. The Hugh­esville se­nior soft­ball team dropped both games of the North­west Re­gion tour­na­ment, while the St. Mary’s 13-14 soft­ball team was fi­nally elim­i­nated on Tues­day cour­tesy of a 5-0 loss to New Jer­sey. The North­ern Calvert 9-10 base­ball team reached the losers’ bracket fi­nal of the state tour­na­ment be­fore fall­ing.

“We had some op­por­tu­ni­ties,” St. Mary’s coach Jerry Burch said. “We just could not come up with the big hit. It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence for all the girls, though. We got to face some re­ally good teams.” Twit­ter: tblack­somds1 Dur­ring­ton grounded out and pinch-hit­ter Ryan Suhr fanned.

“We had to put him on,” re­liever Borges, much to the dis­may of the Lau­rel faith­ful but it proved to be tac­ti­cally cor­rect as Drew Dy­lan Brown that ex­tended the lead to 8-3.

Lau­rel, how­ever, did not go away qui­etly. Hark­ness started the in­ning on the mound and did no re­tire a sin­gle bat­ter, then Jones greeted re­liever Bowl­ing by belt­ing his sec­ond three-run homer of the game which quickly nar­rowed the vis­i­tors’ deficit to 8-7. Nei­ther team scored over the re­main­der of the game and Jones would not get an­other swing.

In the top of the fifth, Clary led off with a dou­ble off Pe­sante, then Stroud fanned. With one run­ner on sec­ond, Jones was in­ten­tion­ally walked by at sec­ond, Blake Pe­sante belted a two-run homer to left-cen­ter. Two bat­ters later, Alex Borges home­red to the same spot to give Hugh­esville a 4-3 lead.

Hugh­esville promptly added to its lead by scor­ing four more runs in the sec­ond, all with two outs. Hark­ness started the rally with a solo homer then Miller reached on an er­ror to keep the in­ning alive. Miller would later score on an er­ror, fol­lowed by RBI singles from Borges and

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

Hugh­esville start­ing pitcher Allen Miller fires home in the top of the first in­ning against Lau­rel on Tues­day evening in the 11-12 state base­ball tour­na­ment at Robert D. Stethem Park in Wal­dorf. Miller al­lowed three runs in the first, but Hugh­esville even­tu­ally pre­vailed 8-7 over Lau­rel to reach Thurs­day’s cham­pi­onship round.

Hugh­esville’s Chet Bowl­ing stands at first base in the bot­tom of the sec­ond in­ning af­ter draw­ing a two-out walk to keep a rally go­ing. Bowl­ing also pitched on Tues­day and picked up the win in re­lief as Hugh­esville edged Lau­rel 8-7 in the 11-12 state base­ball tour­na­ment at Robert D. Stethem Park in Wal­dorf. STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

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