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Howard baseball puts it all together in 8-1 win against Reservoir

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Howard showed on Tuesday at Reservoir why it’s the top-ranked team in the Baltimore area and the team to beat in Howard County.

The Lions strung together hits up and down the lineup — seven players had at least one — which resulted in scoring one run in each of the first four innings. Defensively, they committed no errors, and senior ace Gabe Delgado, the reigning Howard County Pitcher of the Year, looked the part on the mound in throwing five scoreless innings in an 8-1 victory on the road to improve to 2-0 on the season.

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“Offensively, I thought we did a real nice job,” Howard coach Nick Hoffner said. “We faced a really good pitcher in Trevor [Romaine], who beat us last year, so it was nice to come out today and get some runs early. ... We just got contributions from multiple guys up and down the lineup; it’s not just one guy.”

The Hammond Golden Bears baseball team beat the Wilde Lake Wildecats, 3-2, in a Howard County varsity baseball game in Columbia March 25, 2019.

Brian Jakubek and Will Simmons both went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, and Alex Campbell (1-for-3, two runs), Jerry O’Neill (1-for-3, run) and Shayan Kassiri (1-for-3, run) each drove in a run.

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But the best performance of the game came from Delgado. After getting out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first inning, he settled in and dominated an inexperienced Gators lineup. He allowed just three hits — all singles — walked two and struck out six batters across five innings while throwing 72 pitches in his season debut. Ryan Kulick allowed the only run in his one inning of work, while Ausin Foard pitched a scoreless seventh frame to close it out.

“I was able to get ahead of the hitters for the most part and got some quick outs early when I needed them,” Delgado said. “I was able to work out of a few jams and all my pitches were working pretty well, so I’m pretty happy with my performance today.”

The Lions’ offense was able to consistently get runners on base against Romaine, who allowed four runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four in 3.2 innings.

In the first inning, O’Neill was hit by a pitch and came around to score on Jakubek’s RBI double to left-center field. Simmons followed up by leading off the second frame with a solo home run to center field, and a leadoff walk to Campbell and an error in the third cost Romaine, as Jakubek again hit an RBI double to make it 3-0. Campbell ended Romaine’s day on the mound with an RBI single to score Jerras Murray, who singled and stole second base, with two outs in the fourth inning.

“We put up one run in the first four innings which is big when you’re facing a pitcher of that caliber in the county,” Hoffner said.

A roundup of varsity action in Howard County on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

Meanwhile, Reservoir (0-2 Howard County, 0-2 overall) managed to score just one run for the second straight day after losing to Mt. Hebron, 3-1, in its season opener. EJ Sweet went 2-for-4 with the Gators’ lone RBI in the sixth inning, during which they strung together three singles. Johnny Welsh, Daniel Elliott, Ryan Green and Nick Helmick had their other hits.

“We just have to get our bats going. We need to see pitches,” Leader said. “We saw two really good pitchers to start the year, which is tough. Usually your hitting is a little behind in the beginning of the season but we’re going to keep trying to take steps forward and get these guys in practice and try to get back on top. ... As soon as we get some experience under our belt we’ll be a lot better.”

Leader said he liked what he saw from Romaine against one of the best lineups around but added that he got the ball too high in the zone on occasion.

“They jumped on that pretty well,” Leader said, “but we’ll get back to work with him and work on getting the ball back down in the zone and that should help a lot.”

Howard (2-0 county, 2-0 overall) — 8, Reservoir (0-2, 0-2) — 1

......... 123 456 7 R-H-E

Ho ... 111 102 2 8-9-0

Re ... 000 001 0 1-6-3

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