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ACM and Potomac State split doubleheader

Mar. 30—KEYSER, W.Va. — WVU Potomac State College hosted Allegany College of Maryland for a doubleheader on Friday.

"Allegany, they're on the rise in my opinion," Potomac State head coach Doug Little said. "Last year they were one of the best teams in the region we played. I feel the same way about them right now."

The Trojans (19-6, 12-6 NJCAA Region 20) took the first game 13-6 while the Catamounts (11-10, 4-2 Region 20) won the second 4-1.

"We played pretty well, Pot State's always solid," ACM head coach Mason Heyne said. "Anytime you can split with them, it's always good."

Leading 7-6 in the seventh, Potomac State was reminiscent of Garrett College in game two of Wednesday's doubleheader.

The Lakers scored nine runs in the sixth inning on Wednesday, the Trojans struck for six runs in the seventh on Friday.

A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases.

Logan Hokuf drew the first walk, despite showing bunt well before every pitch.

"We're not the greatest at bunting, but it worked out in our favor," Heyne said. "Guys were upset they couldn't get the bunt down. But it ended up working out for us."

Cesar Ibarra drove in two runs on a single past a diving Tanner Haskiell at second base.

Christian Toledo was up next and sent a fly ball to the right center gap, driving in two more runs to push the Trojans' lead to 12-6.

After a pitching change, Nazir Mendez found the right center gap for an RBI double.

Before ACM pulled away, it was anyone's game the first six innings.

The Trojans took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first led by a two-run single by Johnny Antonelli.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the second, Haskiell sent a fly ball deep to left. It cleared the fence for the Southern graduate's first collegiate home run, a solo shot that tied the score at 3.

"That's pretty awesome. That's something he'll remember the rest of his life," Little said. "He works hard and it's good to see good things happen to people who work hard."

Allegany retook the lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Ibarra, followed by an RBI base hit from Antonelli in the fifth to go up 5-3.

Maddox Brooks led off the bottom of the fifth for Potomac State with a solo home run deep to left, cutting the Catamounts' deficit to 5-4.

Mendez answered in the top of the sixth, driving in two runs on a single to right.

Gage Bibey opened the bottom of the sixth with a fly ball down the left field line, just keeping it fair for a solo home run.

Haskiell drove the next pitch deep to left for his second home run, cutting Potomac State's deficit to 7-6.

"It gives you an emotional lift, it's like getting a shot in the arm when you go to the doctor," Little said. "Those are big moments, you don't see back-to-back homers often."

Frankfort graduate Andrew Lynch earned the win out the bullpen in 3 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, three runs and two walks with five strikeouts.

He loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but stranded them to keep the score 3-1.

"He's been pitching really well lately," Heyne said. "With the wind the way it is, he's a sinker baller so we're making sure we keep the ball on the ground."

Ben McDougal took the loss, allowing four hits, four runs and four walks with five punchouts.

Ibarra reached base four times with three hits and a walk, adding three RBIs.

"He's coming into his own, trying to figure out his identity," Heyne said. "Today he showed what he can do. When he gets on, it's almost like a double every time because he can steal."

Mendez, Antonelli and Toledo each had two hits, Mendez added four RBIs, Antonelli drove in three and Toledo added two.

Mendez combined for three hits, four RBIs and three walks in the doubleheader.

Game two was more of a classic pitching and defensive game.

Nik Rubendall scored the first run on a sacrifice fly RBI in the first to put the Catamounts up 1-0.

Haskiell doubled in the second inning, setting up Kris Sutton for an RBI single.

"He's a good athlete, he's a guy that's capable of playing anywhere on the field," Little said of Haskiell. "We like him in the infield. I think he's got a chance to be a special player."

Haskiell finished the day with three combined hits including two home runs and two RBIs.

Bryce Suters was next up and drove in Sutton on a base hit to center, extending Potomac State's lead to 3-0.

With two out in the top of the third, Mendez hit an infield single to Haskiell at second. Haskiell tried a throw from his knees to first, but it was just late.

"Nazir doesn't often score from second, it was kind of an exciting point," Heyne said.

Konner Pittman hit a chopper off the mound into right center. The throw home was just late as Mendez scored from second for the Trojans first run.

With two on and two out in the sixth, Cam Cole hit a fly ball to left. It bounced over the fence for a ground-rule RBI double.

Caden Goodwin earned the win in six innings for the Catamounts, allowing five hits, one run and four walks with eight strikeouts.

Goodwin loaded the bases in the first and fifth innings, but stranded all six runners.

"They don't have a guy in their lineup that's an easy out," Little said. "Caden pitched his butt off for us for six innings and gave up one run, that's a pretty good outing."

Maddox Brooks got the save with a shutout seventh inning.

The Trojans' Johnny Montgomery took the loss as the starter, only lasting 1 1/3 innings.

Hokuf finished, going 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, one run and two walks with three strikeouts.

Both teams play doubleheaders on Saturday.

Allegany heads to Southern Maryland at noon while Potomac State hosts Marietta College at 1 p.m.

"I remember when I first got here, people talked about the triangle with Garrett, Allegany and us," Little said of the area rivalries. "Three really good junior college baseball programs within probably 30 miles. Some people that are baseball people understand how awesome it is to have good junior baseball this close."

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at jkendall@times-news.com.