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Braves complete comeback

August 11, 2002|by JACK HILL III

Your could group the Hagerstown Braves with the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. Down 3-1 in the championship series, all three teams came back to win titles.

For Hagerstown, it was its 12th Blue Ridge Adult League title since joining the league in 1977 and fifth in nine years. The Braves capped their series comeback Saturday with an 8-3 win over the Brunswick Orioles at North Hagerstown High School.

"I'm proud of these guys," Hagerstown player-manager Danny Cunningham said. "They have battled all year. They faced a lot of adversity and they were able to overcome it. After struggling with our hitting during the tournament, it was nice to see it all come together on the final day. Brunswick played a great series. It was an all-out war every night."

In the series, Hagerstown shortstop Nate Reeser was 10 of 22 for a .455 batting average. Reeser also hadd two pitching wins but it was P.J. Hiser who won on Saturday.

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"I went out there and just tried to hit my spots," Hiser said. "It was a big situation, since it was a must win for us. It's definitely a great honor for us to win the championship. It makes it a lot easier to pitch, when you don't have to worry about your team scoring runs."

Chris Black, Pat Sweeney, Mike Spry, Hiser and Cunningham call had two hits for Hagerstown (41-9). Hiser and Spry had two RBI each.

Kevin Goode hit a two-run homer for Brunswick (33-12).

"Congratulations to Hagerstown," Brunswick player-manager John Mangold said. "Anybody who comes back from a 3-1 deficit deserves to win a championship. The Blue Ridge Adult League should have their third straight Maryland state championship next week."

Hagerstown will host the Maryland State Final Four at Municipal Stadium next Saturday. The Braves will play the Westminster Falcons in the first semifinal game at noon. Tri-County from Cambridge will play the Tri-State Titans from Cumberland in the second semifinal game at 3. The championship game will start at 7.

Hagerstown 8, Brunswick 3

Brunswick 002 100 0 - 3 6 4

Hagerstown 202 301 x - 8 11 1

Sechler and Mangold. Hiser and Showe. WP - Hiser. LP - Sechler. HR - B: K. Goode (3rd, one on).

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