Reagan defeats Hoggard on first day of Ashley’s spring break tournament

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Jacob Hartle improved to 4-0 on the hill this season as the senior from Reagan High School struck out 10 in six innings of work, while the Raiders used three unearned runs to build an early lead in a 6-3 win over Hoggard in the second game of Ashley’s spring break tournament on Tuesday.

At one point the right-handed hurler retired 10 straight Vikings’ hitters after plunking Sam Schmidt with two outs in the third. He allowed three runs–two earned–on four hits, with one walk.

Hoggard threatened with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, but Andrew Blake struck out the next hitter and got a ground out to second to pick up his third save of the year after surrendering one run in the frame.

Jacob Hartle. Photos by Joe Catenacci
Jacob Hartle. Photos by Joe Catenacci.

“Our two losses this year have come off the opposing team scoring runs in their last inning so it was huge to see the guys continue to fight and get the win,” said Reagan Coach Gary Nail. “Jacob is a good one. Whenever he takes the mound we have a chance of winning.

“Andrew is another one getting looks from some colleges and has developed into our closer. He’s going to start on Thursday for us so we wanted to get him some work today.”

Trailing by five in the bottom of the sixth, the Vikings plated a pair of runs to cut the deficit in half as Brad Pennington reached on an error to start the frame, which was followed by a walk to Robert Wilkerson. With runners on first and second, Luke McKeithan delivered an RBI single to right and Brandon Boone scored Wilkerson on a sacrifice fly to center.

Hartle eventually got out of the inning with a called strike three to keep the 6-3 advantage in tact headed into the seventh.

“Those were the first runs he gave up all year and he’d tell you he probably wasn’t his sharpest,” said Nail. “But he battled and threw well.”

With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the first, Jacob Souza tapped a ball down the first-base line and plated two runs on a throwing error to give Reagan a 2-0 advantage.

Brad Pennington, checks the runner at second.
Brad Pennington checks the runner at second.

Hoggard answered with one in the bottom of the inning on a two-out single to right by Luke McKeithan, but Hartle went on to strike out the side in the second, and then sat down the Vikings in order in the third, fourth and fifth before Pennington led off the sixth.

The Raiders got the run back in the third, added one more on a wild pitch in the fourth and scored two more in the sixth on a run scoring single by Will Sprinkle and RBI groundout by Hunter Sprinkle.

Reagan center-fielder A.J. Gallo finished 2-for-3 with a double, while McKeithan had two hits and two runs batted in for Hoggard.

“At this point we just wanted to play baseball because of all the weather and I think this tournament will give us a great chance to see some good competition,” said Nail. “We play in a tough conference and facing the New Hanover County schools and some of the other teams here will be a good measuring point to see where we’re at.”

The Raiders moved to 8-2 overall and face the winner of Ashley/Reidsville in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Hoggard takes on the loser of Ashley/Reidsville at 1:30 p.m.

Box score                         R H E

Reagan     201 102 0         6  5  1

Hoggard   100 001 0         3  5  4

WP:  Jacob Hartle      LP: Brandon Boone