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Halfway eliminates American

July 13, 2004|by JACK HILL III

HALFWAY - Playing in the losers' bracket of a double-elimination tournament is enough pressure for a Little League team.

The Halfway 11-12 All-Stars went out of its way to relieve that pressure early Monday, scoringfour runs in the top of the first inning on the way to an 11-4 victory over American in a Maryland District 1 Tournament game.

"Our plan was to get up on top early," Halfway manager Tony Green said. "It definitely helped to take some pressure off of us."

Leadoff batter Josh Green walked to start Halfway's four-run rally in the top of the first. Dylan Zimmerman reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second when Aaron Stotelmyer was safe on an error.

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Kyle Crist and Chris McSherry drew back-to-back walks to force Zimmerman home with a run, Stotelmyer came home on a passed ball and Brennan Deener hit a two-run triple to the right-field corner.

Halfway added five more runs in the fourth to extend its lead to 9-0. Green hit a shot off of the pitcher's glove for an infield single to start the inning. Zimmerman reached and advanced to second on a throwing error, moving Green to third. Two straight passed balls enabled Green and Zimmerman to score.

One out later, Crist was hit by a pitch and McSherry walked. Deener singled to left to drive in Crist. McSherry also scored on the same play on a throwing error, while Deener moved to third. Deener came home when Shane Muldoon reached on another throwing error.

Halfway got its last two runs in the top of the fifth when Zimmerman scored on an error and Crist came home on a passed ball.

"We started to hit the ball hard," Green said. "If you hit the ball hard, you are either going to force an error or get it into the gap somewhere."

American scored two runs in the fourth on an RBI double by Nick Martin and a throwing error, then added two more in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Martin and an RBI groundout by Dustin Price.

"Halfway did what they could do," American manager Jim Ernde said. "They hit the ball well. I give them credit. That four-run first inning set the tone for Halfway."

Halfway starting pitcher Brandon McCauley threw three scoreless innings to get the win.

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