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Halfway not enough for Md. title

August 06, 1998|By SCOTT A. DeVORE / Staff Correspondent

FREDERICK, Md. - Halfway Little League couldn't put together one last comeback as its run for the state championship was ended.

In a week in which the District 1 champions had won in almost every way imaginable (two come-from-behind victories, a game-winning home run and a blow out), the team lost the same way twice to Elkton, falling 12-7 on Wednesday to be eliminated from the Maryland State Little League 11-12-Year-Olds All-Star Tournament at National Little League's Robert B. Staley Stadium.

Halfway, playing its fifth game in as many days, started the game hot with two runs in the top of the first, but then began to tire, as fatigue overcame the team's strength, but not its heart.

The self-named "Comeback Kids" nearly had pulled off another one before bowing out of the tournament.

Trailing 12-4 and down to the final out, Tyler Jones started a desperate rally with an RBI single. Greg Small walked and Corey Cunningham came up with another clutch hit to score two runs to cut the lead to 12-7. But with two runners on base, Jesse Boggs hit a grounder to second that resulted in the last out of the District 1 champions' season.

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"We had a fantastic season. We've done everything, to my knowledge, about as well as it can be done," manager Jack Jenkins Jr. said.

Halfway's pitching never got untracked, as Small gave up seven runs in the first inning, including two home runs, and three more runs in the second inning, including another home run, to give the District 5 champions lead, 10-2.

Boggs, who relieved Small halfway through the second, allowed only two more runs, both on solo homers.

"Greg just wasn't giving what he normally gives, and (Jesse) went in and did a fantastic job, held them to two runs," Jenkins said.

Jones led Halfway on offense, getting three hits and two RBIs. R.J. Mitchell had two hits, including a solo home run, Nick Adenhart and Cunningham each had two hits and two RBIs and Bingie Bingaman had two hits, including a triple.

"I'm 100 percent proud of everything that we accomplished and proud of every kid that was on the team," Jenkins said.

"It was a team effort that got them here. A lot of hard work and (to finish) third (place in the state) isn't bad."

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