Andrew Yacyk slammed a pair of three-run home runs in the third inning and the Hubs decimated Thomas Johnson 21-6 in the Maryland Class 3A West Region semifinals.
Yacyk said he’d enjoy the victory until “about the time I get home and then start to focus on (Friday). It’s a new day.”
North (19-1-1) highlighted the day with a 14-run third inning by batting around the order twice as 19 batters came to the plate.
The Hubs led 5-2 heading into the third until Thomas Johnson left fielder Brandon Berney — who had hit a two-run homer in the top of the inning — dropped Zane Schreiber’s fly ball.
The flood of hits followed as C.J. Owings and J.T. Root singled to drive in Schreiber for the 6-2 lead. After Aaron Jones sacrificed, Charles Cvijanovich doubled for two runs before Matt Daley walked.
Yacyk, who also homered in Wednesday’s win over Northwood, belted his first three-run shot off TJ reliever Heath Dahlgren to give North an 11-2 lead.
Yacyk set North’s single-season record with his ninth homer.
North kept pounding TJ pitchers, no matter whom coach Jim Foit brought in trying to stem the huge uprising.
Against John Willis, three singles, including a two-run effort from Root, and a two-run double by Jones made it 15-2. A TJ error and a single by Daley made it 16-2 to bring up Yacyk. He greeted reliever David Larson with another three-run smash to center for a 19-2 lead.
“I got fastballs on both and they both felt good off the bat,” said Yacyk.
All told North rattled 20 hits around the field, three each by Yacyk, Philip Pietro and Owings. Pietro and Root each had three RBIs.
“Today was a prime example of production one through nine in the order,” said North coach Drew Crawford.
“Usually in high school, you have holes but for us this is a major strength, Crawford said. “This is the closest we’ve been to our potential. It was an impressive offensive display.”
Root picked up his eighth win with 3 1/3 innings of work, some of which wasn’t his best of the year. The right hander allowed six hits and walked five to go along with four strikeouts.
“I’m sure the break didn’t help him but he got his work in,” said Crawford, who said lefty Ben Bushong would start today’s game.
Root allowed four of the six runs in the fourth, coming out to after North’s 45-minute inning.
“We got the bats going again and my defense played great behind me,” said Root. “I was a little off. My pitch selection could have been better.”
North and TJ had played to a 4-4 tie through eight innings in a regular-season game on May 7.
The Hubs are averaging 11.2 runs per game this year . It was the second time they have scored 21 runs in a game.
North 21, Thomas Johnson 6
T. Johnson 002 40 — 6 6 3
North 32(14) 2x — 21 20 1
Omelchenko, Parker (3), Dahlgren (3), Willis(3), Larson (3) and Larson, Omelchenko (3). Root, Dopson (4) and Williams, Stone (4). WP—Root (8-0), LP—Omelchenko. HR-TJ: Berney (3rd, one on); NH: Yacyk 2 (3rd, two on, 3rd, two on).