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PONY All-Stars victorious

Hagerstown one win away from berth in World Series

Hagerstown one win away from berth in World Series

August 02, 2003|by JACK HILL III

Manager Russ Robinson worried the Hagerstown PONY All-Stars would need a lube job before taking the field on Friday.

We haven't played in a live game in three weeks," Robinson said. "We have just been practicing. We could have been rusty tonight but we weren't."

Hagerstown played like a well-oiled machine, using a five-run fourth inning to blow open the game and defeat Smithfield (Va.) 10-1 in first-round play of the PONY League East Zone Tournament at Funkhouser Park.

Hagerstown pitcher Ryan Heavner fired a five-hitter for the complete-game victory while striking out 11, but the PONY offense took all the pressure off its starter.

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Hagerstown scored in the first, added two runs in the third and the five in the fourth before Smithfield cracked the scoreboard with Nicholas Perry's home run in the fifth.

"We played basic, fundamental baseball tonight ... nothing fancy," Robinson said. "The kids played good ball tonight. The pitching was good and the defense was good. When you hit the ball well, you are going to win ball games."

Hagerstown scored in the second inning as Cameron Shifler scored on a wild pitch. Kyle Kane ripped a two-run single to extend Hagerstown's lead to 3-0 after three innings.

Hagerstown rallied for five runs in the fourth, with Nick Bodnar's RBI single and Marcellus Sumlin's two-run single highlighting the rally.

Heavner's only mistake came on Perry's home run.

"I just kept the ball down. Everytime they hit the ball the defense backed me up," Heavner said. "I give credit to our offense for giving me run support. I thought that my performance was all right."

Hagerstown got its final two runs in the sixth inning. Tyler started the rally with two-out single and scored on Kane's two-run home run for a 10-1 lead.

Tyler had two hits and scored three times for Hagerstown, while Kane, Shifler and Bodnar added two hits each.

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