From the HCC sports desk:
NORTH EAST, Md.—The Harford baseball team was down by just one run, 3-2, after two innings of play, but gave up three homers and 11 runs over the next six innings as they fell 14-4 at Cecil in a truncated eight-inning game on Thursday.
The Fighting Owls (4-5, 0-1 MDJUCO) managed just eight hits, and only one for extra bases, as they opened conference play against the Seahawks (7-5, 1-0 MDJUCO).
Freshman Willie Barnola (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) led the Owls with two hits in five at-bats on the day, while scoring one run and stealing one base. Billy Bretz led Cecil, going 3-for-5 on the day with four runs scored, seven RBI and three home runs, including a three-run affair in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman Mike Rapazzo (1-1) (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) was tabbed with the day’s loss after giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits, including two of Bretz’s homers, while striking out three in 3.0 innings of work.
Chad Jenkins went six innings for the Seahawks, fanning nine batters and giving up four runs (just one earned) on seven hits to pick up the win.
Harford got on the board early as Barnola tallied a leadoff single and stole second as freshman Joe Harbach (Abingdon, Md./Edgewood) came to the plate. Harbach’s groundout advanced Barnola to third and the swift Venezuelan would cross the plate on a passed ball by catcher Luis Rivera to give Harford a 1-0 lead.
The Seahawks equaled Harford’s output and added one more as Bretz tallied his first home run in the bottom of the inning, a two-run shot just over the fence in left center, but Harford would even the score in the second as freshman Kyle Otstot (Lewisberry, Pa./Redland) scored on a wild pitch after reaching base on a Cecil error.
The bottom of the second saw Derrek Johnson get on base with a leadoff double and after a groundout and a walk, Johnson would score the go-ahead run on Rivera’s single up the middle.
After a 1-2-3 inning for the Owls, Bretz would add his second homer of the day as the leadoff batter in the bottom of the third, Johnson would add an RBI double and Brian Wilde an RBI single as the Seahawks took a 6-2 lead after three innings of play.
Otstot would score another unearned run in the fourth, thanks to another Cecil error and Bretz would do the same in the bottom of the inning on a Harford error to give the Seahawks a 7-3 advantage.
After a leading off with a single up the middle, Harbach would advance to second on a throwing error by Jenkins and then take third on a wild pitch before freshman Woody Wlodarczyk (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) would tally the only RBI of the day for the Owls with a single to right that plated Harbach.
It would be the last run that the Owls would score and they would manage just two more hits for the remainder of the game, first by freshman Simon Beloff (Jupiter, Fla/Jupiter/Old Dominion) after the run scored and then by Otstot in the eighth.
Cecil would add two runs in the sixth on Jon Moser’s two-run shot to center and Bretz would add his final home run of the day, a three-run affair in the seventh that gave Cecil a 12-4 lead, just two runs away from the 10-run mercy rule.
The eighth inning saw the bases loaded for the Seahawks after an Owl error and two walks before Bretz reached base on a fielder’s choice RBI which brought Rivera in to score and Lou Baldini would add the two-out RBI double that would give Cecil a 10-run spread on the way to the 14-4 win.