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8U Hustlers Saved by the Bell
Cooper Bell turned in a spectacular all-around performance on Saturday as the Hustlers beat a good Elkridge Hurricanes team 12-9. Bell was 3-4 at the plate with a double but his bases-loaded, two-run single in the top of the third was a difference maker. He then came up big on the mound when it looked like the Hustlers might squander a lead in the fifth. Entering the game with the bases loaded and the Hustlers clinging to a 12-8 lead, Bell recorded back-to-back strikeouts after a fine defensive play by Carter Jackson. The bottom of the sixth was more of the same. Bell caught a pop-up and fielded a comebacker to record two quick outs. The Hurricanes refused to go away quietly. A walk and a triple scored a run before Bell got another punch-out to end the game.
Cody Smith pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. Smith was helped by a double-play in both innings. With the bases loaded in the first and one out, Kai Akins fielded a hard-hit grounder, touched the runner going to second and threw to Clay Hamilton at first. Jackson then snagged a line drive in the second and threw to first for a double play. Jackson also pitched two solid innings; he struck out four but gave up three runs in the fourth when his defense let him down.
Bell and Jackson had three hits and scored two runs, Evin Kloster had two hits including a double and scored two runs, and Garrett Touchet had two hits. Smith and Tyce Munger contributed one hit a piece.
The Hustlers are back in action Wednesday evening when they play host to the Western Howard County Renegades. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm.
Raiders Topple Hustlers in 8U Matchup
The Hustler home fields were full of action last night as the 8U and 9U both hosted games. The 8Us welcomed the undefeated HCYP Raiders who came into the contest 8-0 and were limiting opponents to less than three runs per game. HYCP jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first on a monster shot to left field by the Raiders’s cleanup hitter. The Hustlers stranded two in the bottom half of the first as Evin Kloster walked and Cooper Bell singled. Cody Smith settled in and struck out three in the top of the second and then the excitement began. With one out in the bottom of the second, Garrett Touchet got things started with a walk. Tyce Munger followed with a walk of his own after a second out was recorded. Carter Jackson singled sharply to right field to set the table for Evin Kloster. Kloster stepped to the plate and hit an absolute bomb to right center - the ball bounded off the fence on one hop - and the shot cleared the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. The visitors were stunned but got out of the inning without further damage as Smith singled but was stranded on first.
Energized and up 4-2 Kai Akins took the mound and after striking the first two hitters the Raiders scored two runs to tie the game. A great catch by Smith ended the inning. The Hustlers wasted a single by Munger and failed to score in the bottom of the third. Coach Patterson gave the ball to Kloster in the fourth and HCYP tallied two runs on one hit. Unfortunately, the defense made a few mistakes but Kloster battled and threw strikes. Down 6-4 the Hustlers scored two runs to tie the game in the last of the fourth on singles by Kloster, Clay Hamilton, Bell and Touchet. Bell then entered with the score tied at six and despite striking out two Raiders, the visitors managed to score three runs. HCYP brought in their hard throwing closer and he limited the home team to a single by Carter Jackson in the fifth. The 8U Hustlers came up on the short end in a 10-6 final.
Tyce Munger reached base in all three of his plate appearances. Hamilton and RJ Dermady played solid defensively in several positions. The evening provided a chance for a couple of new pitching opportunities and a chance for several boys to play multiple positions. “We are making great progress and showing incredible improvement – I am excited for what’s to come,” noted Coach Patterson.
8U Hustlers Down PBC Eagles
The 8U Frederick Hustlers took another step in the right direction on Sunday at Yellow Springs. Down 4-2 to the PBC Eagles (Pasadena, MD) in the bottom of the fourth and facing a steady rain, the young Hustlers responded with grit and resiliency. With one out, Tyce Munger took a fastball off the elbow, regrouped, and headed to first base. Landry Fowler followed with a quality AB and drew a walk. Carter Jackson then stepped to the plate and hit a bomb over the left fielder’s head for an inside the park home run. “He’s special,” Coach Main noted. “You kind of catch yourself smiling when he hits a ball like that because you get to watch him run and he can fly.” The Hustler’s 3-hole hitter, Evin Kloster, than did what he does so often. He drove in Jackson with a sharp single of his own. The Hustlers had grabbed a 5-4 lead and turned the game over to Fowler who was sensational on the mound. Fowler struck out five of the six batters he faced. The other out was recorded on a nice unassisted play by first baseman Clay Hamilton. The Hustlers gave themselves some breathing room with a four spot in the fifth. Hamilton walked before Munger registered a swinging bunt single to third. After a walk to Fowler, Jackson stepped to the plate and delivered once again – this time a line drive double to right. Cody Smith followed with an RBI fielder’s choice to the right side.
Smith got the start on the mound and was unusually wild. He gave up three runs in the first on four hits and a hit batter. After walking the bases loaded in the second, Jackson came in and slammed the door with two strikeouts and a fielder’s choice. Jackson then tossed the 3rd and 4th innings and didn’t give up a run. He struck out seven in his three innings of work.
Offensively, Jackson and Kloster led the way. Jackson had four hits and Kloster had two. One of Kloster’s hits was a run-scoring triple in the third. Fowler and Munger each had a single. Fowler and Jackson each scored three run while Munger scored two.
The 8U Hustlers are back in action on Wednesday evening against the HCYP Raiders.
8U Hustlers Drop Close One to LF Archers
On a cold and windy day at the beautiful Linthicum-Ferndale baseball complex, the 8U Hustlers came up on the short end of a close game. Cody Smith was brilliant once again on the mound pitching the first two innings and only allowing one run (unearned). He had three strikeouts and was helped out by two beautiful plays from Evin Kloster. Down 1-0 entering the third with two outs, Kloster stepped to the plate and launched a missile to straight away center that hit off the top of the fence for a standup triple. “Evin hit that ball about as well as you’ll see any 8 year-old,” noted Coach Main. Smith brought Kloster home with a single to the right side as the Hustlers evened the game at one. Carter Jackson entered the third inning on the mound and was dealing aces. He struck out two LF hitters and caught a pop out for the third out. It looked like momentum was changing hands but the young Hustlers just couldn’t get anything going offensively. Jackson went back out in the fourth and struck and two of the first three hitters before suddenly running into control issues. Before the inning was over the Archers had scored three runs on only one hit. Kloster pitched the fifth and gave up one run. He struck out one and was the recipient of a nice fielding play from Clay Hamilton. “That’s a really nice team we played and our guys hung in there. We just seemed to have a little more trouble adjusting to the cold,” Main said. RJ Dermady, Kai Akins and Cody Smith shared the catching duties and all three were solid.
The young Hustlers are back in action on Wednesday at Yellow Springs against the Elkridge Hurricanes. First pitch is scheduled for 5:45pm.
Note: Matt Cunningham (Linganore), Dustin Isanogle (Catoctin) and Colby Patterson (Our Lady of Good Counsel) assisted Coach Patterson and Coach Main with the coaching duties on their off day from High School baseball. All are 9th graders and members of the 14U Hustlers. "It's 45 degrees and the winds blowing 20mph and these guys are running around in full uniform like their 8U counterparts. We preach baseball has to be fun; this was fun!"
8U Hustlers Shock Lake Shore
The young 8U Hustlers did a lot of growing up on Sunday in Pasadena, MD. Trailing 10-6 entering the final inning, they displayed that “no quit” attitude that’s become a staple of Hustler baseball over the past 19 years. The Hustlers sandwiched walks to Evin Kloster, Clay Hamilton, and Cooper Bell around a double by Garrett Touchet, and singles by Tyce Munger and Kai Akins. “Garrett’s hit was huge,” noted Coach Main. “He fell behind 0-2; there’s a reason we call him G-Money.” When the inning was over, the Hustlers had an 11-10 lead and leaned on Kloster to shut the door. He did just that. Kloster got a groundout to RJ Dermady at second for the opening out. Bell then confidently caught a popup wide of third base for the second out. After a base on balls, one of Lake Shore’s better hitters walked to the plate. He had doubled and singled earlier in the game. Kloster was up for the challenge as he reached back for a little extra and struck out the hitter to end the game. “Evin is a competitor. He wants to be on the mound and you like to see that,” noted Coach Main.
Kloster actually entered with one out in the 5th after a Lake Shore double had extended the home team’s lead to 10-6. On Kloster’s first pitch, Carter Jackson made a nifty play at first snagging a line drive and doubled up the Lake Shore player at second to end the inning.
The Hustlers got off to a great start in the first inning. Kai Akins got hit by the pitch and Jackson showed why he’s one of the better players around at 8U. Jackson drilled a shot against the fence in left center for a two run home run. Kloster and Munger also singled in the inning to go with several base on balls to grab a 6-0 lead.
Cody Smith, Jackson, Dermady and Kloster handled the pitching duties and all threw well. Smith was particularly effective; he had five strikeouts in two innings of work.
Offensively, the Hustler bats were hot. Jackson, Kloster, Touchet and Munger each had two hits while Akins, Hamilton and Bell each had one. Kloster reached safely in all four of his ABs and scored two runs. Hamilton was on base three times and also scored twice.
Note: Matt Cunningham’s coaching debut was a successful one. Cunningham plays SS and pitches for Main’s 14U Hustler team and is a freshman on Linganore High School’s varsity team. “Matt gets a day off from HS baseball and ends up giving back. Looking over and seeing him coach 3B was fun for me and I know that he loves working with these 8U guys,” noted Coach Main.