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Hopewell Junior High Baseball

Hopewell Junior High Baseball Picks Up 4th Win with Extra Innings Win Over Laurel

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LAUREL HIGH SCHOOL– The 2024 Hopewell Junior High Baseball team is definitely getting better and growing as a team.

The key word there is team.

The players are realizing that it can’t just be one or two players that lead them to a win and that it’s going to take a handful of players in the lineup doing something positive if they’re going to have a chance. Although it wasn’t easy, they received that today at Laurel and as a result, the Vikings come out with a 5-3 extra innings win.

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Head coach Nick Hoth’s team is now 4-3 and that’s significant considering they won just one game the entire 2023 season.

To say the Hopewell pitchers today were dominant would be a huge understatement. Here’s a stat to back that up. In eight innings today, the trio of Collin Davis, James Armstrong and Andrew Arzberger struck out 21 of the 24 batters that they faced. Yes, 21 of the 24 batters.

Despite that superb pitching, Laurel made it tough, ran the bases extremely well and scrapped their way to earn 3 runs. But in the end, the Vikings did just enough offensively to earn a happy bus ride back to Hopewell.

Davis started the game and was really effective, going 4 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run (0 earned), 0 walks and striking out 8.

With the pitching that they were getting, Hopewell had a chance to put this game away early but weren’t able to come through with a hit with runners on the bases.

For example, Hopewell left the bases loaded in the first, left two runners on in the 2nd and again left the bases loaded in the 3rd inning.

Laurel scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 4th, so Hopewell had 3 more innings to try and tie the game or take the lead.

After putting up another zero in the 5th, the Vikings finally put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the 6th inning.

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With 1 out, Aiden Ritchart reached base the hard way as he was hit by a pitch. Next up, Coach Hoth called upon pinch-hitter Gunner Reese, who walked to put two runners on with just 1 out. Arzberger walked with 2 outs and Hopewell scored their first run as Jayvion Lindsey showed good patience at the plate and walked on a full count. Game tied at 1.

Still in the 6th, Davis came to the plate in a pressure situation and CD delivered with a double to left field scoring both Reese and Arzberger. Hopewell led 3-1.

Armstrong pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning as he struck out the side.

Hopewell looked to have this game in control as Boo Boo came back out for the 7th inning but to Laurel’s credit, they battled against Armstrong and plated two runs to tie the game at 3.

We went to extra innings, which was Hopewell’s first extra inning game of the season.

Josh Gill got things started with a single to center field and following a passed ball and a stolen base, Gill was at 3rd with 2 outs. Just as he did in the 6th inning, Davis came through again with an RBI single to left field. Hopewell regained the lead 4-3. Then on the first pitch that he saw, Armstrong laced a triple to center field, scoring Davis and giving his team a 5-3 lead.

Armstrong came back out for the bottom of the 8th but didn’t finish the inning. After striking out two batters and walking one, Coach Hoth went to his bullpen and brought in 7th grader left-hander Andrew Arzberger. The reason for the move was simple- pitch count. Armstrong went 3.2 innings, allowing only 1 hit, walking 3 and striking out 12 batters. However, in those 3+ innings, Boo racked up 77 pitches (47 strikes).

The move paid off as Arzberger went on to strike out the final batter on just 4 pitches.

For the game, Hopewell recorded 10 hits 3 by Davis, 2 each by Armstrong, Camden Hoth and Gill, and 1 by Owen Ackerman.

The Vikings have a day off before traveling to Northgate for a double-header on Friday.

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