Hammond's Maxey supplies punch in win over R. Hill

Player of Year goes 4-for-5 with six RBIs

Baseball

April 05, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

As any baseball coach will tell you, most hitters don't hit very well in the cold weather of the early season.

Except Hammond's Jason Maxey, who could probably hit doubles standing on the South Pole.

Maxey, last year's Howard Player of the Year, went 4-for-5 and knocked in six runs yesterday as No. 5 Hammond easily beat River Hill, 14-3. And though the win moved the Bears' record to 7-0 on the year, it was the first one that came with a little breathing room.

"We've realized the last few games that any team can beat us and everyone is out to get us," Maxey said. "We've got to play well to win. This was an impressive victory for us."

Hammond players knew they were pretty fortunate to come away with a win Tuesday, as they rallied from two runs down in the top of the seventh inning to beat Howard. But the nail-biter might have been the best thing for the Bears, according to Maxey.

"I think the Howard game was kind of a kick in the butt for us," Maxey said. "It got us going, because we did not play well at all."

River Hill, which opened the season 4-0 but dropped its third straight, hung around early, getting a number of ground-ball outs from sophomore pitcher Steve Cornelius. But offensively, the Hawks couldn't really break through on Hammond pitcher Kevin Schwartz, who earned the win by going five solid innings. River Hill twice hit into double plays with runners in scoring position by drifting too far off the bases.

"We've faced three pretty good pitchers in three days," said River Hill coach Rick Lloyd. "That kind of silenced our bats a bit."

Hammond scored four runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-2 lead, then five more in the sixth, getting two big hits from Maxey to lead the way. Alex Koch scored four runs and Andrew Heffron went 2-for-4 with an RBI double.

River Hill's Doug Dierenger continued his hot hitting for the Hawks, going 2-for-4, just missing a home run on a fifth-inning double off the fence.

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