Haass fires 1-hitter as Panthers nip Eagles 3-1

WOODSIDE — It was not a no-hitter or a shutout, but Joey Haass’ performance was still simply dominant.

Haass took a no-hitter into the final inning to help Polytech High earn a 3-1 win over Smyrna High in a Henlopen Conference baseball contest on Thursday afternoon.

Haass, a senior, finished with a one-hitter, struck out seven and allowed just one unearned run in the second inning. Smyrna’s only hit came with one out in the seventh.

“I think when he changes his speeds and is able to locate his curveball he is really tough to hit,” said Polytech coach George Eilers. “That’s what he was able to do to help us win.”

Cole Garey went 2-for-3 to pace Polytech’s offense. Garey tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second with a solo homer.

Polytech ace Joey Haass went the distance to win 3-2 over Smyrna Thursday. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Polytech scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the third on a RBI-single by Miguel Rivera. The Panthers added an insurance run on an error in the bottom of the fifth.

It left Smyrna starter Jeremy Carrow with the loss in a tough-luck decision. Carrow, a junior, also struck out seven while only two of the runs he gave up were earned.

Haass said he was expecting a low-scoring affair.

“I knew it was going to be a pitchers duel,” Haass said. “He’s a very good pitcher over there. I knew if we could score enough runs, we’d be good. I just threw strikes and trusted my defense.”

Cole Garey of Polytech rounds 3rd base and head coach George Eilers after he blasted a solo homerun to tie Smyrna 1-1 . (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

“We know what Smyrna brings to the table and the Carrow kid is one of the best pitchers in the state so we knew we had our work cut out for us,” Eilers said. “We were excited to see if we could match up with them.”

Polytech has now won four in a row to improve to 9-3 overall. Smyrna dropped to 8-6 on the season.

Smyrna’s only run came in the top of the second when Zach Zlock was hit by a pitch and quickly moved up a base on an errant pickoff throw. Zlock then scored on an error through the infield.

John Forrest of Polytech scores from second on a single when the throw from right field got away from Smyrna catcher Brandt Penuel. The play gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the 3rd inning. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Haass only ran into trouble one more time in the game, when he walked the leadoff batter in the top of the fourth. After a stolen base and a groundout, the runner was soon on third.

But the Panthers escaped when Haass induced a grounder to Rivera who threw home to cut down the potential tying run.

Eagle shortstop Nevin Bell has the ball but John Forest of Polytech was credited with a stolen base after he was called safe on the play. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Haass is a four-year starter for Polytech and has committed to the University of Delaware.

“He’s been with us since he was a freshman so he’s had his ups and he’s had his downs so we’re really excited he’s able to lead this team,” Eilers said. “It’s been a gradual process with him for four years so it’s exciting to see what he’s been up to this year.”

Max Lattomus recorded the lone hit for Smyrna with two outs left in the game which sent the tying run to the plate.

Haass forced a flyout before striking out the final batter.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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