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Halfway wins District 1 9-10 championship

July 04, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

HALFWAY - Halfway Little League's District 1 9-10 championship victory over Federal Little League was a walk in Marty Snook Park.

Make that many walks.

Halfway took advantage of 10 walks and three errors Saturday for a four-inning, 13-3 victory over Federal.

"Federal's done a great job battling through the losers' bracket, but we assumed they'd be tired, so we were going to make them throw strikes," Halfway manager Duane Gigeous said.

The plan worked to perfection. Halfway took a 2-1 lead in the first inning on two walks and two hit batters. Nick Myers scored the first run on a steal of home, catching Federal napping.

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Halfway broke a 2-2 tie in the second with five more runs on five more walks, Henry Gigeous' RBI single and a throwing error. Six more runs in the third on three walks, Chris Kiley's two-run double to the right-field gap and RBI singles by Robbie Vinson and Evan Coblentz made it 13-2.

"I've been with this group of kids through T-ball, minor league. I've had them for four years and they're able to play different kinds of ball," Gigeous said. "(Today) we were patient and we had timely hitting."

Halfway left-handed pitcher Blake Miller was far from overpowering, but he did enough, working out of a bases-loaded jam while giving up only one run in the first inning and stranding four more Federal baserunners in scoring position in the game. Miller did not walk a batter.

"The key was throwing strikes and not giving them free baserunners," Gigeous said.

Federal was playing for the seventh straight day, part of fighting to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. Close victories over Conococheague on Thursday and Oakland in Friday's losers' bracket final gave Federal a shot at the district title, but it was not to be.

"This was seven days in a row, seven games in a row, and we never gave up all week," Federal manager Dennis Corapi said. "I'm so proud of them. ... We just couldn't find a strike."

Alijah Benson singled and scored on a wild pitch to give Federal a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Cole Myers walked and scored on another wild pitch in the second, and singles by Andrew Yacyk and Benson, combined with a Halfway throwing error, gave Federal its third run in the fourth. Kris Burdick finished with two hits.

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