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30-year wait over for Maugansville

July 16, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

MAUGANSVILLE - Jay W. Stouffer founded the Maugansville Little League 30 years ago.

It wasn't until the twilight hours of Thursday that Stouffer finally had a chance to celebrate a District 1 championship, as the Maugansville 11-12 All-Stars dispatched South Mountain 10-5 in the title game to gain a spot in the Maryland state tournament.

"It's been a long 30 years and it feels good," Stouffer said after joining the players and coaches on the field from the pressbox, where he serves as the public-address announcer.

For manager Dan Braithwaite, the five-game unbeaten sweep through District 1 was unexpected.

"If you would watch these kids in practice you would never think of us as the team to beat," Braithwaite said. "They are a team full of gamers. This has gone beyond every expectation, except maybe for the players."

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Maugansville, which beat South Mountain 2-0 Saturday in the winners' bracket final, turned to the offense Thursday, totaling 11 hits and eight walks and using a seven-run third inning as the catalyst to carrying the District 1 championship flag.

Each team notched a three-run inning through the first two.

Mike Braithwaite and Jordan Wivell set the table in the top of the first with singles before South Mountain pitcher Adam Schofield issued three straight walks, followed by Jake Bachtell's RBI single.

South Mountain regained momentum on singles by Tyler Marshall and Schofield, two walks, a fielders choice and an error in the second to tie the game.

Maugansville began to unravel South Mountain in the third with singles by Brandon Glazer, Corey Morgan and Zack Snodderly loading the bases. Bachtell and Bradley Kiracofe each walked to force in runs and Korey Walker delivered a run-scoring single.

Matt Braitwaite drilled a single to left that got past Sean Colgan for two runs, and Wivell followed with a sacrifice fly.

"We came back to tie and we were sitting pretty," South Mountain manager Terry Hartle said. "They got some bloop hits and with a lot of walks ... that's baseball."

South Mountain tried to sustain a fifth-inning rally which began with Anthony Hollis' home run. Tyler Marshall reached on an error and later scored on a double by Travis Marshall off Maugansville reliever Walker, who had come in for Bachtell.

But Walker shut down South Mountain after that.

Bachtell, who pitches from the stretch, worked the first four innings and maneuvered through six walks.

"Justin was getting tired and thought his arm was starting to hurt," Braithwaite said. "Walker is our No. 3 pitcher and the last time he pitched he came in with his junk and shut them down."

South Mountain was coming off a victory over Halfway on Wednesday in the losers' bracket final and needed to win in order to force a final game today.

"The bubble burst on us with those seven runs," Hartle said. "We had heart and tried to come back but seven runs is a lot to come back from. We congratulate Maugansville."

"We were in the driver's seat," said Braithwaite, whose team never trailed in the tournament. "The pressure was on (South Mountain) to win. They came back and tied the game but it was a great feeling getting those seven runs."

Matt Braithwaite and Morgan each had two hits and Morgan reached base in each of his four plate appearances with two walks.

Maugansville will receive a first-round bye at the state tournament, which starts July 24 at Conococheague Little League, and will not play until July 25.

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