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Hagerstown A runs to Colt crown

July 27, 1998|By JACK HILL III

Hagerstown A has had no trouble producing runs during the Colt League West Region Tournament.

Sunday's title game was no different than the previous ones in the tourney at Hellane Park.

Hagerstown A scored eight runs in the first five innings, then held off a comeback attempt by Kelly's Place of Johnstown, Pa., for an 8-5 victory and the championship.

Hagerstown A had a perfect 3-0 record in the double-elimination tournament and scored 35 runs in its three games.

Hagerstown will now advance to the Colt League Zone Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The tourney runs from Wednesday through Saturday.

Hagerstown will open play against Greensboro Gray on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.

Hagerstown A jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Les Martin led off by reaching on an infield single. Martin then showed some good hustle on the basepaths by stealing second, moving to third on Tater Russ' groundout to third and scoring on P.J. Hiser's strikeout when the catcher dropped the third strike and threw to first base to retire Hiser.

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The other three runs scored on a two-run single to right by Trey Cobb and an RBI infield single by Chris Trolio.

After Kelly's Place scored a run in the second, Hagerstown A got that run back in the bottom of the fourth when Martin scored on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field by Hiser.

Hagerstown A scored three more runs in the fifth to pad its lead to 8-1. With one out, Cobb walked. Matt Hood entered the game as a pinch-hitter and slugged a two-run homer to left-center.

After that, Mark Koontz reached on an infield single and eventually scored on a bases-loaded walk.

"I kind of knew that he was going to throw a fastball, because he was down in the count," Hood said. "I know that our team hit the ball good."

Hagerstown A starting pitcher Justin Hamilton gave up only one run during the first five innings. In the sixth inning, Hamilton was bothered by a pulled muscle in his back, and Kelly's Place scored four runs to cut the lead to 8-5.

Tater Russ came on in relief with one out in the sixth and kept Kelly's Place from scoring for the rest of the way.

"It was really another team effort," Hagerstown A manager Steve McLucas said.

"We hit the ball well, especially early. It was the defense that won it for us. Our pitchers threw strikes, and the defense made the plays. It is a great bunch of kids. They really support each other."

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