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PONYs suffer setback

Shutout loss drops team into losers' bracket

Shutout loss drops team into losers' bracket

August 21, 2002

WASHINGTON, Pa. - Miguel Flores allowed two hits in a five-inning complete game, walking four and striking out eight, as Norwalk, Calif., knocked Hagerstown into the losers' bracket of the PONY League World Series with an 11-0 shutout on Tuesday night.

"He was a little slower than what we had been seeing," Hagerstown manager Steve Berger said. "He did have a nice curve ball, but we got down right away and the boys got overanxious trying to get it back all at once. The kids swung at a lot of curve balls in the dirt that weren't strikes. We were very impatient."

Norwalk scored five runs in the first on a bunt single, a walk, two stolen bases, an error, two RBI singles and Jimmy Buentello's two-run homer off Hagerstown starter Robert Snowden.

"It just snowballed," Berger said. "California played small ball, and we didn't react well to it. The boy who hit the home run, he was even late on that. He hit it down the line, the fence is 250, he must have hit it 255, but it went out."

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Norwalk added three runs in the second - two coming on a throwing error - and added runs in the third and fourth to provide more than enough support for Flores.

"Dink deserved better," Berger said. "The home run ball was hit, but other than that, nothing they hit was hard. But we made errors and that compounded itself.

"We looked like a million bucks in practice and we thought we would tear things up. That five-run first just took it out of their sails."

Hagerstown will play Port Neches, Texas, in an elimination game tonight at 8. Hagerstown defeated Port Neches in a wild nine-inning game Sunday.

"We'll really see what we're made of, because Port Neches, they want us bad," Berger said. "If the kids want it, we'll do it. If they quit, we'll be home."

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