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Colt Leaguers explode to win

July 26, 1998|By JACK HILL III

A blowout was the last thing on anyone's mind.

Hagerstown A was locked up in a 5-5 tie with Columbia after 5 1/2 innings in the Colt League West Region Tournament at Hellane Park.

A few minutes later, the fallout was everywhere after Hagerstown exploded for 10 runs during the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Columbia by the 10-run rule, 15-5 on Saturday.

"We weren't hitting the ball as well before that," Hagerstown's Les Martin said. "Once one player came through, then all of the players started coming through."

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Martin collected three of his five RBIs and two of his three hits during the 10-run sixth inning.

Hagerstown pitcher Preston Semler allowed only three earned runs in six innings to get the complete-game victory.

Columbia starting pitcher Tony King struck out 10 Hagerstown batters and did not give up an earned run during the first five innings.

When King walked the first two Hagerstown batters in the bottom of the sixth inning, he was taken out of the game. Then nine of the final 11 Hagerstown batters reached base.

"We got some timely hitting, that's for sure," Hagerstown manager Steve McLucas said. "We knew that Columbia had a good pitcher in Tony King. When they took him out of the game, it gave our players some confidence."

Martin ripped a two-run triple to left-center to drive in the first two runs of the sixth. Martin came home on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.

"That pitcher kept giving me curveballs and I finally got hold of a curveball that I could handle," Martin said about his triple.

P.J. Hiser blasted a two-run homer to center. The other five runs of the inning came on an RBI single by Justin Hamilton, a two-run fielding error, an RBI groundout by pinch-hitter Patrick Bishop and an RBI infield single by Martin.

Hagerstown A improved its record to 2-0 and advanced to the championship round today at 2 against either Kelly's Place or Columbia. If a second game is necessary in the double-elimination tournament, it will start at 5.

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