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Halfway remains in hunt

August 05, 1998|By SCOTT A. DeVORE / Staff Correspondent

FREDERICK, Md. - Halfway Little League fought its way out of one jam against Frederick National Tuesday afternoon, then put out a "May Day" call for help against the District 2 champions.

On Tuesday, it would be Andy May's day as he came to the rescue and answered Halfway's call with the game winning home run as the District 1 champions defeated host Frederick National 5-4 in the Maryland State Little League Baseball 11-12-Year-Old All-Star Tournament at Robert B. Staley Stadium.

The game was tied 4-4, before May took the first pitch he faced to dead centerfield and out of the ball park for the victory.

Halfway's call for help came from the bench. Manager Jack Jenkins Jr. decided to reinsert May into the lineup because he believed that he would deliver something special.

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"We decided to put Andy back in; normally that's one of our biggest home run hitters," Manager Jenkins said. "He can do it and we took a chance and we won."

"All I was thinking was if I get up and hit a home run, we win," May said. "I just swung and it went."

Jenkins had something to say to May before he got up to bat. "You get up there and see a pitch you like, swing as hard as you could," Jenkins told him.

It was a coaching decision that ended up winning the game for Halfway, but it was a coaching decision in the top of the sixth inning that almost went sour.

With two outs and a runner on second, Jenkins decided to intentionally walk Frederick's Carl Wolf to put runners on first and second and a force-out possibility.

But Halfway pitcher Nick Adenhart walked the next batter to load the bases, bringing up Frederick slugger Garrett Hanselman. But Hanselman, who previously hit a two-run home run off Adenhart in the first inning for an early lead, took three straight strikes down the middle to end the Frederick threat.

Frederick pitcher Dustin Brown shut out Halfway through the first three innings as his team built a 4-0 lead. But the District 1 champs, who have dubbed themselves "The Comeback Kids," tied it up in the fourth.

With the bases loaded, Jordan Duvall was hit by a pitch to drive in the first run. R.J. Mitchell drove in two more with a single to the fence and Bingie Bingaman tied the game 4-4 with his bases-loaded single.

"Practically every game we are down and we come back," Mitchell said.

Adenhart finished the game with 12 strikeouts and gave up four hits.

Wolf collected a pair of hits for Frederick and Brown finished with 10 strikeouts.

Halfway will play at 6 today at Staley Stadium against the Elkton/Hughesville loser.

Adenhart had just one thing to say about tomorrow's game, "Halfway, all the way."

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