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Colliflower shows his best to pitch HCC to split with Chesapeake

Colliflower shows his best to pitch HCC to split with Chesapeake

Hagerstown, MD - Apr., 28 -

The Hagerstown Community College baseball team experienced a little of both the good and the bad during Sunday's Maryland JUCO twin bill against Chesapeake.

The bad happened first as the Hawks committed a couple errors in the sixth inning of the opener, allowing the Skipjacks to rally for 10 runs in the frame en route to a 14-2 outcome.

In the second game, the Hawks (35-16, 19-5) rode solid pitching from Clear Spring graduate Josh Colliflower to a 6-1 win to salvage a split. Colliflower flirted with a no-hitter, carrying the bid into the seventh inning before allowing his first hit. He finished with just two hits allowed and fanned 12.

"I honestly had no idea," said Colliflower of the no-hit bid. "That was one of my best games of the year. A couple walks hurt me in the beginning of the game, but I shook it off because I knew I had to hold them. I was just locating my fastball and keeping it high because I knew Chesapeake is a team that likes to chase high fastballs."

"In Game 2, the story was Colliflower," HCC coach Scott Jennings said. "He pitched a great game and held them down until we could get the bats going. It felt really good going into the last inning with a five-run lead with the way Josh was throwing."

The nightcap began much like the opener. Chesapeake's plan was to play each game like a preseason contest, throwing a different pitcher nearly every inning. As a result, the Hawks struggled to get anything going offensively.

The Skipjacks (26-13-1, 12-9-1) scored a run in the top of the second despite not having the luxury of a hit. With one out, Zachary Platas was hit by a pitch. An errant pickoff attempt to first base allowed Platas to reach third. Adan Reinoso drove in the run with a groundout to shortstop for the first run of the game.

Colliflower set the Skipjacks down in order in the third and fourth. In the fifth, Colliflower worked around a hit batter with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout.

In the bottom half, the Hawks' bats began to come alive. Dylan Sexton reached on an error to lead off and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. After moving into scoring position, Sexton was lifted for pinch runner Spencer Martin.

Enrique Morales gave the next pitch a ride to center where it hit off the outfield fence, allowing Martin to score to tie the game 1-1. Meanwhile, Morales hustled around the bases for a triple.

"I honestly thought it was gone off the bat. At that point I was just really excited to have hit the ball well," Morales said. "I was just looking middle-away and for a good pitch to hit and drive it. It looked good. I got a fastball middle-away and I had that approach."

Two pitches later, Morales scored on a fielder's choice for a 2-1 lead.

Colliflower went back to work in the sixth, setting the Skipjacks them down in order again with a strikeout and a pair of flyouts.

"He was just lights out. His fastball was working and his off-speed was working as well," said Morales, who caught Colliflower on Sunday. "What was really good for us was how we were working up in the zone and away in the zone."

The Hawks scored four insurance runs in the bottom half of the frame. Nate Cotton reached on a two-base error and scored on a Josh Menders RBI single. Branden Lynch followed with a single, then Martin walked to load the bases.

Evan Marushak needed just five pitches to unload the bases, ripping a three-run triple to center for a 6-1 lead.

"They kept us off balance all day. Finally, in our last at-bat, we saw a kid who threw harder and we seemed to do better against that," Jennings said. "Before that, there were a lot of off-speed pitches and we didn't adjust well."

Chesapeake ended Colliflower's no-hit bid when Paul DiPino lined a single to center on the first pitch he saw. Zach Fisher singled on a hard grounder to third. Unfazed, Colliflower struck out the next three batters — two swinging — to end the game.

In the opener, both teams played close for the first half of the game. Chesapeake took a 1-0 lead in the third as Livan Reinoso led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adan Reinoso.

The Hawks answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half. Robbie Houck reached third on a wild pitch and scored on the ensuing throw. Lynch plated the second run on a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Menders for a 2-1 lead.

The Skipjacks scored two runs in the fourth. Jordan Glazer hit an RBI double and Christian Murphy drew a bases-loaded walk for a 3-2 lead.

The errors began to hurt HCC in the fifth. DiPino reached on a three-base error to lead off the frame and scored on a Fisher RBI groundout.

In the sixth, the Skipjacks launched a 10-run rally. An errant throw with two runners on allowed a run to score. Following a sacrifice fly, Fisher hit an RBI single to left. Two batters later, Adan Reinoso doubled home two more runs, making it 10-2.

Following another error, Chesapeake strung together three straight run-scoring hits — including doubles by Livan Reinoso and Murphy — to make it 14-2. The Hawks were