The wind was blowing out Wednesday afternoon at Lloyd Michael Field when Hagerstown hosted Lincoln in Tri-Eastern Conference baseball.
Not that either team really needed any help.
In a slugfest between the Wayne County rivals, the host Tigers had most of the bombs and posted a 15-4, run-rule triumph in their conference opener.
The Tigers pounded four of the five home runs in a game that went just four and a half innings.
Lincoln scored three runs in the top of the first inning, but with just one out in the bottom of the second inning, Hagerstown had already passed the Golden Eagles, improving to 1-0 in the TEC and 6-4 overall.
Lincoln fell to 2-6 and 0-2, respectively, falling for the sixth game in a row after two non-conference home wins to start the season.
“This team had been hitting the ball well, working hard in the cage, and that work is paying off,” said Tiger head coach Brad Catey. “Wilson (Garrett) has had some big hits for us lately, and really did so again (Tuesday).”
The Tiger senior third sacker slammed two homers, hitting the second of back-to-back solo shots in the bottom of the first inning that immediately closed the Tiger deficit to 3-2.
Then, with Hagerstown securely ahead, Wilson lined a three-run shot in the bottom of the third inning to push the lead into double figures and set up the run-rule decision.
Tyler Funkhouser and Sam Reagan had the other Tiger home runs.
“We’ve been focusing on our hitting, and finishing games when we have the lead,” Wilson said. “We did a good job of that in this game.”
Hagerstown scored nine runs in the second inning to turn a 3-2 deficit into an 11-2 lead, then Wilson’s second dinger made it 14-4. Another Tiger run crossed later in the inning.
“We did well in getting the lead early, but we didn’t make the plays in the field that you have to make to stay in a game like this,” said Lincoln coach Tom Gable. “Our team has to pitch well, play solid defense, and put all aspects of the game together to have a chance against good teams like Hagerstown. They are a good hitting team, and while our infield played pretty good defense (Tuesday), our outfield struggled.”
Senior Alex Smith had three of Lincoln’s five hits, including a two-run homer.
“I feel more comfortable at the plate this year,” Smith said of his offensive excellence through the first eight games. “I am trying to be a leader as a senior on a team with a lot of freshmen and sophomores.”
Smith and classmate Ian Bloom are the only Lincoln seniors, and with no juniors on the roster, there are 14 freshmen and sophomores on the roster.
Next for the Golden Eagles is Seton Catholic today on the Lincoln home field in Milton, while Hagerstown continues conference play with a Thursday night game at Winchester.
Saturday, Tri visits the Tigers for a 10 a.m. doubleheader, with just the first game counting in the TEC standings.