|By Mike Rubin, The Evening Sun, Hanover, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"It felt pretty good," Arnold said. "Being the first game, obviously against the old team. It's a great way to start the season."
With two outs in the top of the fourth, facing a full-count and the bases loaded,
"I was just trying to get back from when I struck out with a guy on second in the second inning," Ames said. "I saw the ball well coming out of his hands and got to a full count. I just swung and hit it."
The bottom of the Squires order came through all game. The seven through nine hitters combined to go 4-for-8 with a double, three RBIs and three walks.
"They did a great job, and that is what we need," Arnold said of the bottom of his lineup. "Joey hitting in the nine hole is like a second leadoff hitter. He has great speed."
With a three-run cushion, Haymaker continued his efficient work of the Thunderbolts lineup.
"Those three runs helped Dalton," Arnold said. "It settled him down and let him go out and throw strikes."
"That was huge," Haymaker added. "I knew once I got one, I had my stuff today and I could trust my defense. They were behind me the whole time, so once we got the first one, I knew we had a good shot of winning."
Despite the cold and blustery conditions, Haymaker appeared in mid-season form. In addition to striking out 12 batters, Haymaker did not issue a walk, went to a three-ball count only twice and threw exactly 100 pitches.
"He was unbelievable," Arnold said. "That is what an ace is supposed to do. No stress innings, I don't think. That is why we let him finish. I don't know what else to say, it was pretty impressive."
In addition to locating his fastball all game long, Haymaker kept
"I just had to remember to throw it and not try to aim it," Haymaker said. "To be able to command it a lot and use the strike zone to my advantage. It was good to have command of it today."
"There was a lot behind this rivalry with Coach coming from
"Todd threw the ball very well," Gantz said. "He struggled in his first outing with throwing strikes, but he did a much better job today. (Delone) just had a couple clutch hits, and they had a couple balls fall where they needed to."
"(Haymaker) is one of the better pitchers we have in the league so you knew coming in you were going to have to grind it out. We did a decent job putting the ball in play, we just didn't come up with the clutch hit like they did."
The Squires made to the PIAA Class AA second round last year, and are showing no signs of step back despite losing six starters from last year's team.
"The chemistry this year is the same as last year," Haymaker said. "We lost a lot of very valuable guys from last year, but our underclassmen are really stepping it up."
Littlestown 000 000 0 -- 0 5 2
SO-BB -- Haymaker 12-0, Cook 2-7, DiPietro 2-1; W -- Haymaker; L -- Cook; 2B --
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