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Halfway upends West End, 9-3

July 09, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

HALFWAY - Sometimes, the simplest of statements says it all.

"I was pretty happy all the way around tonight," said Halfway Little League 11-12 All-Star manager Jack Jenkins after watching his team pound out nine hits, take extra bases with aggressive abandon and commit just one error in support of Shane Muldoon's wildly effective two-hitter in a 9-3 victory over West End Little League in Friday night's opening round of the District 1 Tournament.

West End took leads of 2-0 in the second and 3-2 in the third, but Halfway's two runs in the bottom of the third gave it a 4-3 lead, and five runs in the fourth inning gave Halfway all the insurance it needed.

"That's our game, baserunning and hitting, and I was pretty happy with our defense," Jenkins said. "Sometimes you hit the ball well but you can't field it."

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West End starter Aaron Stoner's heavy sinking fastball kept Halfway from getting comfortable right away, while West End took the lead in the second by scoring two runs on a hit batter, a walk, an error and Cody Dillow's RBI groundout.

But Halfway answered with two runs in the bottom half on singles by Will Bowen and Brett Barr, an RBI double by Jordan Miller and a wild pitch that scored Barr.

West End added a run in the third when Muldoon walked the first three batters in the inning - three of his six walks - and Stoner stole home with two outs to make it 3-2. But Muldoon struck out the final three hitters to keep the damage contained.

"He's had a pretty good year control-wise," Jenkins said. "It's been over two weeks since he's thrown, so that's what you were seeing. He did struggle today, he didn't have his best stuff, but he had enough to avoid the big inning."

Halfway made it 4-3 in the bottom of the third on two West End errors, three stolen bases, Zach Sauble's single and Bowen's RBI fielder's choice. Then in the fourth, Halfway hit another gear, as Miller, Evan Coblentz, Muldoon and Sauble all singled. Coblentz and Muldoon each drove in two runs with their hits, and Sauble drove in another.

"They did a nice job making adjustments," Jenkins said. "After they saw (Stoner) the first time (through the order), they hit him pretty well."

Muldoon threw 102 pitches in going the distance, striking out seven for Halfway.

Kenny Kitchen had both hits for West End.

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