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PONY's perfect timing

August 13, 2000

PONY's perfect timing



Hagerstown moving on behind three big stars

By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


WASHINGTON, Pa. - The Hagerstown Pony League All-Stars didn't do a lot of things Sunday.

Tim Kellinger didn't know if he would hit the ball. Nick Adenhart couldn't eat. T.J. Bowser didn't start. But when the game was on the line, the trio did everything right.

Kellinger homered and drove in three runs, Adenhart pitched a complete game with 14 strikeouts and Bowser added some needed momentum with a pinch-hit double to lead Hagerstown to a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over host Washington (Pa.) to win its opening game in the Pony League World Series at Lew Hays Field.

None of the trio hogged the spotlight. In manager Rick Suder's mind, they just borrowed it for the day.

"That's the thing about this team. Each tournament, each game someone else picks us up," Suder said. "It just showed our heart. It showed that we don't give up. The home run they hit could have killed us. We could have rolled over and played dead ... but we didn't."

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The victory keeps Hagerstown in the winners' bracket of the double-elimination tournament and moves them into Tuesday's 8 p.m. matchup with West Covina (Calif.), a 10-0 winner over Chatham (Ill.).

As dominant as Adenhart was in the game, Hagerstown trailed 3-2 after 4 1/2 innings when Washington broke up a no-hitter with Jordan Schrander's three-run home run. It came on the heels of Kellinger's two-run shot off Washington starter Dom Winters in the second. Hagerstown tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth on Ben Jordan's sacrifice fly. Bowser hit the first pitch he saw for a double and stole third on ball four to Adenhart with one out in the sixth.

After Adenhart stole second, Kellinger got his part of the spotlight. He hit a grounder up the middle that bounced off shortstop Kenny Evans glove, allowing the winning runs to score.

"The last couple of tournaments I have been struggling," Kellinger said. "My dad told me before we came here that this was the tournament that counts.

"Just hit the ball. That's all I was thinking. Put the ball in play."

It was a big turnaround for Kellinger, who doesn't normally hit home runs, but got a taste of the long ball in his first at-bat.

"He just made good contact," Suder said. "He put the ball in play and made them have to field it. I was kind of surprised that he hit the home run."

Adenhart had a no-hitter with eight strikeouts through four innings until allowing a single to Tim DiSalvio to open the fifth. After Jim Johnson drew a one-out walk, Schrader ripped the homer to right.

"Every game, I have made one mistake pitch and someone had hit it," Adenhart said. "But each time, we have been able to come back ... now I'm ready to go get something to eat."

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