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'We did it for Zach'

July 09, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER

BOONSBORO - When the South Mountain Little League All-Stars took the field Thursday, they wore more than just their hats, mitts and cleats.

They also wore their hearts on their sleeves.

Still mourning the recent death of teammate Zach Beard, South Mountain players rallied around one another to notch an 11-5 victory over Federal in the District 1 11-12 Tournament.

Beard was killed Saturday in an all-terrain vehicle accident near his Boonsboro home.

"As a team we wanted to play the entire tournament in honor of Zach," said South Mountain coach Terry Hartle. "We didn't just want to win, we wanted to win for him."

Beard, who would have celebrated his 12th birthday Thursday, was honored by South Mountain with the planting of a Northern red oak tree just outside the right-field fence and a moment of silence before the game.

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Then it was time for the South Mountain All-Stars to honor him, and they made the most of their opportunities.

Leading 6-5, South Mountain opened the fifth inning with two straight outs before Troy Hartle reached on an error. Following a walk to Sean Colgan, Anthony Hollis also reached on an error to load the bases. Adam Schofield then came up and lined a two-run single through the infield. The throw to home to get Colgan was late, allowing Schofield to try for second base. The ensuing throw to second was wide, ending up in center field, and Hollis and Schofield each scored. Tyler Marshall capped the rally with a solo home run, giving South Mountain a commanding 11-5 lead.

"Confidence goes a long way and once we get going, it's hard to stop us," Terry Hartle said.

"We made some mistakes that probably cost us a lot of runs," said Federal coach Tim Nelling. "We're not going to get our heads down. We're going to do what we need to do to stay in the tournament.

Marshall was impressive in virtually every aspect of the game. He hit two home runs, threw a baserunner out in a steal attempt, and to top it all off, pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out the side in order to end the game.

"I was thinking about Zach the whole time. We did it for Zach," Marshall said. "I got real pumped up after I hit the first home run because I knew I could do more."

The game featured several changes in momentum.

Federal, which won a coin flip prior to the game and elected to be the home team, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Patrick Salvagno and a run-scoring single by Christian Binford. After Marshall homered for the only scoring in the second, South Mountain took advantage of two errors in the third to plate three runs for a 4-2 lead.

Federal answered with two runs to forge a 4-4 tie through three innings. Hollis and Marshall each had an RBI single for South Mountain in the fourth and Federal's Justin Mills scored on a fielder's choice to cut the lead to 6-5.

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