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Baseball

Chesapeake bounces back, sweeps Harford
'Jacks once again resemble team that played so well in Florida

WYE MILLS – The weather warmed up Friday – and so did the Skipjacks’ bats.

Chesapeake College banged out 21 hits and swept a baseball doubleheader from visiting Harford Community College, 12-2 and 8-6. In the process, the Skipjack hitters resembled the team that went 6-2-1 on their Florida trip – not the one that had lost three straight since returning north.

"It was good to see the hitting come alive," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team pounded out 14 hits against four Harford pitchers in the opener. "After we got back from the trip the bats went cold. They seemed to warm up with the weather."

Mike Liddell’s solo homer staked Chesapeake to an early 1-0 lead in the opener, and Andrew Markey’s two-run shot highlighted a four-run fourth inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Bryan Woolford (2-for-4, three runs) hit a two-run home run during a six-run sixth inning that invoked the 10-run mercy rule.

J.T. Gregory (double, two RBI) went 4-for-4 and Derek Richards (RBI) was 3-for-3.

Chris Custer earned the Game 1 win, allowing a run on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks in four innings. Evan Ford pitched the final two innings, giving up a run on four hits. He struck out two and walked one.

"We really needed someone to step up and Chris was able to do that," Szymanski said of Custer. "It was a crucial game and he did a great job."

Ford, meanwhile, continues to shine as a closer even while staying in the Skipjacks’ starting rotation.

"We knew he (Ford) could throw a couple of innings for us and come back on short rest," said Szymanski.

Harford erased a 3-0 deficit in Game 2 with four second-inning runs as Ronnie Trout and Josh Gonzalez roped run-scoring doubles and Hiron Gonzalez delivered an RBI triple off the base of the left-field fence off Chesapeake starter Chris Flerlage. The Skipjacks, however, avoided further damage when catcher J.J. Corriveau flipped to Flerlage covering home to get Hiron Gonzalez attempting to score from third on a potential wild pitch.

The Skipjacks (13-6-1 overall, 5-3 Maryland JuCo) came right back with a five-run second to regain control. Woolford came up with the big hit – a bases-loaded double off Harford starter Jeremy Lorenzo that turned into a four-run play when the ball scooted past left fielder Jorge Quiles to clear the bases.

Circumstances worked in the Skipjacks’ favor on Woolford’s double, which came with two outs and a 3-2 count that allowed the runners to get an early jump. Liddell moved into third baseman Trout’s vision just as Woolford’s liner went past Trout.

"Bryan hit the ball extremely hard, and it would have taken a great play for him (Trout) to catch it, but it looked like the third baseman took his eye off the ball," said Szymanski. "Mike did a great job – he didn’t interfere on the play, but he was in the right place at the right time."

Lorenzo took the loss, allowing all eight runs (six earned) on six hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings for Harford (9-14-1, 1-6-1).

Chesapeake had taken a 3-0 lead in the home first as Tony Mitchell (2-for-3, two runs) and Gregory delivered RBI singles and J.V. Herbert (single, two runs) scored on the front end of a double steal.

Flerlage gave up a homer to Steve Alexander leading off the visitor’s third. After Brandon Maupin reached on an error, Adam Ruark singled to end Flerlage’s day on the mound. Flerlage lasted just two-plus innings, giving up six hits, five runs (four earned), and a walk with one strikeout.

Nick Hardy pitched two innings to get the win, allowing a run on three hits, and Ben Newport earned the save by pitching three scoreless innings. Newport gave up just two hits with a walk.

"Nick and Ben both came in and did great jobs for us," said Szymanski.

The Skipjacks host Anne Arundel Community College (10-9, 4-5) Sunday at noon in a league doubleheader.

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