Hartford stays hot in summer baseball

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Hartford catcher Aiden Swezey awaits a pitch during the Tanagers’ TCML baseball win over Whitehall.

There’s a coaching adage that says “Winning breeds winning.” That could be the motto of the Hartford baseball program. Fresh off a Section II Class D title and a trip to the state regional final, the Tanagers have remained scorching hot this summer.

Last Tuesday Hartford continued to roll as the team won its sixth straight in TCML baseball. The Tanagers used a huge third inning to cruise over Argyle 19-0.

Hartford scored two runs in the first and then put the game out of reach by plating 16 runs in the third.

Aiden Swezey and Braden Whitney combined for a one-hitter on the mound to lead the Tanagers. Swezey went three innings, giving up one hit and striking out four. Whitney pitched two innings, didn’t give up a hit and struck out three.

The duo also combined for 7 of Hartford’s 11 hits. Swezey was 4 for 5. Whitney was 3 for 3.

Jace Venner added a pair of hits. Landon Cook and Joe Allen also had hits.

Venner had a strong game behind the plate, throwing out three runners.

Hartford improved to 6-1 with the win.

On Thursday Hartford expected to get a challenge from a Whitehall squad that came in unbeaten on the season. The Tanagers trailed early but used a big fourth inning to pull away and defeat the Railroaders 18-6 in another TCML contest. It was the seventh win in a row for the Tanagers in a rematch of last year’s league semifinals.

Whitehall jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when a hot grounder from Steven Mattison found its way into right field to plate a pair of runs.

Hartford drew even in the bottom half of the inning, taking advantage of two Whitehall fielding miscues to tie the game 2-2.

In the third the Tanagers took control. Swezey nailed a two-run single to the right-center field gap, and Joey Happy smoked a two-run double down the left field line to give the Tanagers a 5-2 lead. Hartford cruised from there.

The Tanagers tacked on nine runs in the third and four more in the fourth to extend the margin to 18-2.

Whitehall put up a four-spot in the top of the fifth to cut their deficit to 12 runs, but Hartford closed out the game via the 10-run rule.

Hartford only connected for four hits but took advantage of eight Whitehall errors and 16 walks.

Allen went four innings to earn the win on the mound. Allen yielded only one hit and struck out seven.

Landon Earl came on to pitch the fifth.

Swezey finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs for Hartford. Happy added three RBIs.

Chris Rozell blasted a three RBI double for Whitehall.

Hartford is now 7-1. Whitehall is 3-1.