PONYs get hit hard, bounce back

August 08, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

It may have been over before it even started for Hagerstown.

Hagerstown gave up five runs in the top of the first inning and fell 7-4 to Greenbrier (Va.) in the winners' bracket final of the PONY East Zone Tournament at Funkhouser Park on Saturday.

Hagerstown was forced to play in an elimination game just 30 minutes after the loss, but edged Chambersburg 2-1 for a spot in the championship round, giving it a chance for revenge against Greenbrier today at noon.

Greenbrier had only two hits to score five runs in the first inning, thanks to six Hagerstown walks.

"There's no question (Hagerstown) had some problems pitching to us in the first couple of innings and we were able to take advantage of it," said Greenbrier manager Rusty Hilton. "I think a lot of it was nerves."


After Greenbrier's Lance Alley, Kyle Taduran and Josh Hones reached on free passes, Angel Vega lined a single to right, scoring Alley and Taduran. Matt Flanagan followed with a double to the same spot to score both Hones and Vega for a quick 4-0 lead. Flanagan later scored on an overthrow for the five-run cushion.

Hagerstown couldn't answer in the first, going down in order on nine pitches.

"The first inning just killed us," said Hagerstown manager Steve Cromer. "It took us a couple of innings to get things back together after that."

Greenbrier resumed the attack in the second when Hones led off with a double and Patrick Tucker was hit by a pitch. Hones stole third and scored on an errant throw. Vega followed with a bloop single to right field to plate Tucker for a 7-0 lead.

After holding Greenbrier scoreless in the third, Hagerstown finally showed signs of life.

With two outs, Jared Ferguson walked and David Bowen singled to left. Tim Leather followed by sending the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Hagerstown relievers Jeremy Smith and Cody McCarthy held Greenbrier scoreless for the final four innings, giving Hagerstown a chance to cut into the lead.

The chances slipped away though as Hagerstown scored one more run, while leaving runners on base in three of the last four innings.

"We didn't get the clutch hitting when we needed it," Cromer said. "We had a lot of opportunities, but we got some bad breaks too."

Hones and Vega each finished with three hits for Greenbrier.

Bowen had two hits for Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 2, Chambersburg 1

Jared hit the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up the save. Cody McCarthy scattered five hits over six innings for the win.

Ben Eby had two hits and Alex Izer homered for Chambersburg.

Chambersburg 9, North Park (Mass.) 6

In the early losers' bracket game Christian Egolf homered twice, including the go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth, to lead Chambersburg. Grant Meyers had two hits and Alex Izer homered.

Josh Ferriera homered and Josh Roseberry had two hits for North Park.

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