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Hawks fall in Region XX championship round

Hawks fall in Region XX championship round

Errors proved to be costly for Hagerstown Community College on Monday.

The Hawks committed six errors and surrendered nine walks in a 16-8 loss to Harford Community College in the Region XX Division 1 championship game at Municipal Stadium. HCC (37-19-1) defeated Potomac State 14-10 in the losers' bracket final to get to the final round.

"It's tough when you play two teams the caliber of Potomac State and Harford," said HCC coach Scott Jennings. "We did well against Potomac. I mean, that's a huge win, and to get to the championship, the guys deserve a lot of credit.

"We gave it what we had, but we just weren't sound enough to win against them. Too many walks, too many errors and you can't beat a team like that making those mistakes."

Harford (50-8-1) struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Peyton Sorrels reached on an error and later scored on an error.

Hagerstown responded in the top of the second. Quin Ambeault walked to start the inning and moved to third on a Jason Paredes double before scoring on a groundout by Garrett Spinks to tie it.

In the third, Harford regained the lead with five runs on four hits and an HCC error. Tre Todd had a two-run single and Ryan Shinn had an RBI single for the Fighting Owls.

The Hawks fought back in the top of the fourth to tie the game.

Ambeault walked and Geraghty Showe singled to start the inning and Ambeault scored on another RBI double from Paredes to make it 6-2.

After a walk to Spinks, Toloso had an RBI single and Sinjin Shoop followed with a fielder's choice to bring in Paredes. The Hawks scored the last two runs on an error and a sacrifice fly from Matt Kline to tie the game at 6-6. 

"We showed a lot of heart this weekend, battling back numerous times," said Jennings. "We just battled, the hitters did a great job."

Harford retook the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame. The Fighting Owls drew back-to-back walks to start the inning, and following a strikeout, CJ Lopez ripped a two-run single. After an error that extended the inning, Lopez scored on a single to make it 9-6.

The Hawks got a run back in the sixth as Paredes walked with one out, stole two bases and scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-7.

Harford scored four more runs in the bottom half, highlighted by a two-run homer by Nick Mastrangelo. Harford put the game away in the next inning with four more runs, three coming off a home run from Adam Rapp to make it 16-7.

"The big innings hurt us," said Jennings. "In the seventh, we had two outs and no one on, and we thought we had the kid struck out, but it was ball four and they went on to score four runs."

Hagerstown added one last run in the eighth. Kline reached on an error and later scored on a groundout by Geraghty Showe.

In the opener the Hawks came back twice to beat Potomac State. The Catamounts had beaten the Hawks three times this season, including the opener of the Region XX tournament Sunday.

HCC trailed 4-1 after the first inning and 6-1 after two, but scored four runs in the third and two in the fourth to go up 7-6.

Potomac State regained the lead in the bottom half with three runs, but HCC took the lead for good in the fifth with three runs.

Smith had a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Hawks a 12-9 advantage. Smith also struck out six in the last three innings for the save, getting out of bases-loaded situations in the seventh and eighth. Colby Byers tossed 5 1/3 innings of relief to pick up the win.

"That was the most (Smith) pitched all year and it was huge," said Jennings. "He shut the door on them and the home run was huge. Colby Byers also did a great job, he held the fort and kept us in the game which allowed our offense to get us back in it."

The Hawks had three all-tournament selections in Smith, Shoop and Ambeault.

"Those three had real nice tournaments and it's a great honor for them to make that team," said Jennings.

Jennings said the Hawks' season was an overall success.

"This was a very good season," said Jennings. "To be region runner-up and get 37 wins, it was definitely a very good year."