Hibbs, Arundel win opener

Arundel 3 Eastern Tech 2

Baseball

High Schools

March 23, 2006|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,SUN REPORTER

Sophomore right-hander Tyler Hibbs fueled host Arundel on a cold day, as the No. 4 Wildcats edged No. 10 Eastern Tech, 3-2, in a nonleague baseball game yesterday.

It was the season opener for both teams, matching the defending Class 2A state champion Mavericks of Baltimore County and against Anne Arundel County's Wildcats, last year's Class 4A runners-up. Hibbs threw a four-hitter and received just enough run support.

Third baseman Ricky Sillaman doubled in the Wildcats' first run in the third inning, and his second double was the third in a row by the Wildcats in a two-run fifth after two outs.

Matt Skrenchuk drilled the first double into left-center, and Hibbs followed with a double down the left-field line for a 2-0 lead. Tyler Lewis, Hibbs' courtesy runner, then raced home on Sillaman's double to right for a 3-0 Arundel lead.

Hibbs, who won five games last year as a freshman, including two in the playoffs, was exceptionally sharp yesterday.

Throwing 98 pitches, Hibbs mixed three pitches - a fastball, curve and changeup - well, allowing just a pair of unearned runs and no walks with eight strikeouts.

"I felt pretty good out there once I got my curveball over and got my changeup working," said Hibbs, who took a two-hitter and a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning. "I was able to place my fastball where I wanted. I felt very strong in the seventh."

Coach Bernie Walter, who started his 33rd season at Arundel, checked each inning with Hibbs to see how the pitcher felt.

"I kept asking how he was feeling, and that [seventh inning] was going to be his limit right there," Walter said. "But it was within the parameters of a player with his skills. Tyler is an outstanding pitcher and fierce competitor."

Hibbs gave up an infield hit to Matt Gardner leading off the sixth, and Mike Sokolis followed with a single to right.

Two errors led to the two runs, spoiling Hibbs' bid for a shutout.

"Tyler Hibbs threw a heck of a game, and his curveball was phenomenal," Eastern Tech coach Spike McElfish said. "He's going to have a lot of success with that this year."

patomalleysports@aol.com

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