April 6th, 2021
Garrett College baseball team stays hot
Smith, Hanible, Carr combine for 17 hits in 4 games; Lakers 8-2 over last 10
Quintin Smith, Elijah Hanible, and Peyton Carr certainly know how to set a tone at the top of the Lakers' lineup.
The trio – who occupy the top three spots in Garrett College's batting order – combined for 17 hits, 15 runs, and 12 RBI during a pair of weekend road baseball doubleheaders as the Lakers swept Cecil College and split with Anne Arundel Community College.
"Those three guys set the tone," said GC head coach Eric Hallenbeck.
"Smith leads Maryland JuCo in runs batted in and is second in home runs hitting in the leadoff spot," continued Hallenbeck. "Hanible leads the conference in stolen bases and Carr is fifth in runs batted in. All three guys are complete players. They are students of the game and love to compete."
GC downed Cecil, 5-2 and 22-14, on Friday. The Lakers then bounced back from an 11-1 lost to AACC in Saturday's opener to beat the Riverhawks, 8-4. Garrett (16-9 overall, 6-4 Maryland JuCo) have won eight of their last 10 contests.
Carr (2-for-4) and Nathaniel Darwin (3-for-3) each had a double and scored a run while Juan Pinero drove in 2 runs as Garrett built a 5-0 lead to take command of Friday's opener.
"Nate has been hitting the ball well for us," observed Hallenbeck. "Since March 13th, he's had a hit in every game he has played in."
Winning pitcher Justin Fluhart (5 strikeouts, 3 walks) allowed just 3 hits over 6 innings, including a sixth-inning homer by Andrew Imbierowicz. Coby Howatineck pitched the final inning, yielding a solo homer to Dante DeSabatino for his only hit allowed.
"Fluhart's outing was huge for us," said Hallenbeck. "We really didn't get too much offensive production in Game 1, but didn't need it. After the first inning, when he got out of a bases-loaded jam, he was spectacular."
GC hit four homers and pounded out 15 hits in the Game 2 slugfest. Joey Perfette (3-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Colby Johnson each hit two-run shots during an eight-run second inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Smith (2-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBI) and Cody Eyler (2 runs) had solo homers in the first and sixth, respectively.
Carr went 3-for-5 to join Perfette with 3 hits in the game. Hanible (2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBI) and Eric Peters (2-for-4, 3 runs, RBI) were the fourth and fifth Lakers with multiple-hit games.
Patrick Bart, the second of five Laker pitchers, got the win with 1 2/3 innings of 1-hit, scoreless relief.
The Lakers had as many errors as hits (4 each) in Saturday's 11-1, five-inning loss to AACC, but Garrett bounced back to record an 8-4 win in the nightcap.
"It wouldn't have mattered if we would've had Nolan Ryan on the mound in Game 1 on Saturday," said Hallenbeck. "They did everything right and we did everything wrong. That's baseball some times. I didn't get too bent out of shape after the loss. For us to win together, we have to know how to lose together."
GC overcame a 3-2 deficit with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings and a two-run fifth that made it 7-3.
Eyler's second-inning single plated the tying run while a third-inning Pinero groundout scored Carr with the go-ahead run. Smith (2-for-5, run, RBI) had a run-scoring single in the fourth that made it 5-3.
Eli Hott walked with the bases loaded to force in a run and Brennan White had a run-scoring fielder's choice during the 2-run fifth.
Kelan Hoover got the pitching win, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in 4 innings with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Dylan McCartney earned the save, striking out 6 while yielding a run on 2 hits with 3 walks in 3 innings.
"You're only as good as your next starting pitcher and Kelan Hoover delivered for us," said Hallenbeck. "After getting touched up in the first inning, he settled in and gave us four solid innings.
"Dylan came in and was OK," continued Hallenbeck. "He wasn't dominant like he can be, but some of that was shaking off some rust. We haven't used him much, so it was good to get him some work. "
Hallenbeck said the Lakers are coming together nicely.
"I like our team, but more importantly they like each other," said the Lakers' mentor. "The good thing about it is I don't think we have played our best baseball yet. With everything we have dealt with over the last year – and what we continue to have to deal with – says a lot about these guys.
"We're 16-9 overall, but more importantly 6-2 in DII [Division II] Region XX games," said Hallenbeck. "We have 12 more DII region games left and they are all at home, so that should be an advantage for us."
The Lakers host CCBC-Essex (6-11, 2-8) Tuesday and conference-leading Hagerstown Community College (21-6, 9-1) Wednesday in 1 p.m. doubleheaders. GC hosts Chesapeake College (7-4, 5-1) Sunday in a noon twin bill.
The most up-to-date information on Garrett College's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), can be found online at https://www.garrettcollege.edu/corona-virus.php.