North Carroll, Huller turn back Frederick, 7-2


There was more Mike Huller magic yesterday for North Carroll.

Huller didn't pitch one of his better games and had to leave with two out in the fifth inning due to a sore muscle in his side.

But it didn't matter.

The Panthers still did almost everything right at the plate and played errorless baseball to turn back Frederick, 7-2, in a Central Maryland Conference game at North Carroll.

"We always seem to play well when I pitch," said Huller. "I felt fine until my side tightened up on me. I'm sure the windy weather had something to do with it."

The victory raised Huller's record to 6-1, giving him all but one of the North Carroll wins (7-6 overall, 4-4 in the CMC).

Huller allowed two hits and two runs in 4 2/3 innings, struck out six and walked five. He has 66 strikeouts and 20 walks and has been followed by pro scouts in almost every game.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-hander, who can throw in the mid-80s, has been given a full baseball scholarship to attend George Mason University but has said he would sign with a major league team that drafts him if the deal is right.

A matchup between Huller and Frederick's lefty Kristian Spriggs was anticipated yesterday, but did not develop because Frederick coach Phil Rhodes opted to rest Spriggs for league-leading Westminster and Thomas Johnson next week.

Rhodes started left-hander Mike Bostian instead. Bostian walked nine Panthers in three innings, including three in the second inning when the home team scored three runs and four in the third when North Carroll pushed across three more runs without getting a base hit.

Those six runs were more than enough for Huller and Matt Martindale who came in to relieve Huller in the fifth and shut down the Cadets (5-7, 1-7) on one hit, two strikeouts and two walks over 2 1/3 innings.

In addition to taking advantage of nine walks, North Carroll put on a good exhibition of bunting.

Brian Yoakum and Jon Plunkert both laid down attempted sacrifice bunts that were so perfect they went for hits, and Yoakum and Jason Tawney had sacrifice bunts.

Yoakum, Barrett Gugliotta and Jason Hann each had two hits for the winners, and Todd Schaeffer drove in two runs.

"We're a fundamentally sound team and could easily be 10-3 with a few breaks," said North Carroll coach Denny Snyder, who watched his team blow an 8-0 lead and lose, 10-9, to Oakland Mills Monday and then drop a 2-1 decision to Thomas Johnson Thursday.

"I was worried about us mentally after the TJ loss. But we were ready to play and Martindale came in and did the job when Mike [Huller] had to leave. I had my mind made up before I went to the mound that I was going to take Mike out. I think he might have aggravated an old injury. This is not the last game he is ever going to pitch. He has a good future ahead of him. No one game is worth anybody's future."

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