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Taylor-made win

July 20, 2000

Taylor-made win



Conococheague moves into district final behind pitcher's second complete game

Aerik TaylorBy MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Writer


On its march through the District I 11-12 year-old All-Star tournament, Conococheague Little League has been doing its locomotive impression - starting slow, but gaining speed and momentum as the run goes longer.

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The run will keep going, as the team put together a complete team effort to defeat West End 8-3 in the loser's bracket final and advance to the final at South Mountain tonight at 6.

Aerik Taylor threw his second complete game victory of the week, again striking out seven batters, and appeared to strengthen as the game progressed. After a no-doubt-about-it first inning home run by West End's Matt Murray that easily traveled 250 feet, the extra workload didn't seem to affect Taylor.

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"I felt pretty good," Taylor said, "But I wasn't thinking too good when he hit that homer."

"That was tattooed," Conococheague manager Mark Bodnar said. "We were a little worried about (12 innings pitched in a week). I think last night's rainout helped a lot. It gave him an extra day of rest."

Tyler Beard didn't let West End rest on its lead, either. He took Murray's first pitch deep to center field - his first Little League home run - to tie the score. The Conococheague train had left the station.

"That changed the whole game right there," Bodnar said. "(West End) were excited and then that swung the momentum back in our favor."

Conococheague got another run in the first and one more in the second on another Beard shot off the fence for a 3-1 lead. West End made its final charge in the third, as Josh Dowler's RBI single capped a two-run inning that tied the game, 3-3.

But Conococheague kept picking up steam. John Combs reached on a fielder's choice and later scored on a West End error in the third for a 4-3 lead before Taylor put things out of reach.

With Nick Bodnar and Philip Jordan on base and two outs, Taylor blasted a three-run shot over the fence in right center for a 7-3 score.

Conococheague closed the scoring in the fifth when Bodnar's second hit of the night drove in Adam Dellinger.

"That three-run homer was the nail in the coffin," Mark Bodnar said. "And defensively, we came to the forefront. We played great and made no mental errors."

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