Bulldogs break out their bats on a cold evening

WOODBRIDGE — On a frigid Monday night at the yard, the only thing warm were the Hylton baseball bats.

The host Bulldogs had eight base hits, four of them for extra bases, to pound Brooke Point 14-2 in six innings in the second round of the Eddie Hope Tournament. Senior outfielder Phillip Beall paced Hylton with three hits, the last coming on a towering three-run home run to straightaway left field that ended the contest prematurely.

On Tuesday, Hylton takes on Robert E. Lee at 4 p.m. and Brooke Point plays Stonewall Jackson at 7 p.m. to finish pool play.

For Beall, the Bulldogs’ offensive surge couldn’t have come at a better time. On Saturday, Hylton managed just four runs in a 4-2 season-opening win over Stonewall Jackson.

“We hit pretty solidly [tonight],” Beall said. “Against Stonewall, that was pretty shocking, but we kicked it in gear today. We played well and we played like we should have played [Saturday], and hopefully we’ll keep this trend up through the tournament.”

Hylton grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI double by Sean Boots. Brooke Point tied the score in the top of third inning when Hylton pitcher Adam Redd balked Andrew Speights home. Speights had walked to start the inning and then advanced to second and third base on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively.

The Bulldogs (2-0) came back with four runs in the bottom of the third. RBI singles by Joel Miller and Charlie Hagan gave Hylton a 3-1 lead. Hagan stole second and advanced to third base on a wild pitch by starter Bryan Parker after a walk to Kevin Froehlich. Hagan then scored when the Black-Hawks threw down to second in an attempt to catch Froehlich from stealing. The ball was juggled by second baseman Brad Longman and then Longman threw wildly in an attempt to pick off Hagan at third.

The Bulldogs added three runs in each of the next three innings to close out the game.

Hylton’s aggressive baserunning –the hosts had six stolen bases — is typical of what Hylton coach John Colantuoni wants to do this season. However, the Bulldogs, who made it to the state quarterfinals last season before losing to Centreville, also have better potential to go deep this spring.

Hylton has connected for a homer in each of its first two games after hitting just three all of last season. Miller had a home run in the victory over the Raiders.

“I think the kids have gotten a little stronger and they’ve worked hard,” Colantouni said. “A lot of them have lifted a lot of weights over the winter and it’s helped them.”

Beall included.

“I just sat on that changeup or whatever it was,” Beall said of his decisive dinger. “Like a hot knife through butter.”

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