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South Mountain rallies past National, 7-4

July 09, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

South Mountain found many different ways to get on base in a big fifth inning and capitalized on its fortune to notch a 7-4 victory over National in the opening round of the District 1 Little League 11-12 Tournament on Friday at Staley Park.

Three hits, two walks, a hit batsman and a National throwing error paved the way for South Mountain to tally four runs in the fifth and advance to a winners' bracket game at home today at 2 p.m. against Maugansville.

"The players get 10 swings in BP and five of them are bunts," said Scott Hardy, South Mountain's manager. "It was our best game plan for tonight, but we can hit the ball."

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Two of their three hits in the fifth were swinging bunt-like singles by Brandon Nokes and Jeromy Hardy that loaded the bases after a single by Chaney Lum.

Adam Schofield, the winning pitcher, bounced out to National pitcher Brandon Burnett to score Lum to tie the game, 4-4.

Ryan Robinson followed with another bouncer back to Burnett, who looked Nokes back to third, but proceeded to throw wildly to first, allowing Nokes and Hardy to score. Robinson eventually scored when Patrick Hollis was hit by a pitch and Brandon Foote and Cody Palmer each walked.

"We got some breaks in the inning," said Scott Hardy. "We'll take them."

Burnett seemed to be in control on the mound after striking out the side in the third and getting two more of his 10 strikeouts in the fourth.

While South Mountain rallied, Schofield settled down on the hill. He allowed only one hit over the final three innings, a leadoff double in the fourth by Jordan Nicewarner. Pinch-runner Tre Hinchen scored what was the go-ahead run at the time.

"I was a little nervous in the beginning of the game," said Schofield, who struck out four and walked only one. "I just threw mostly fastballs and I started to settle down in the second inning."

Leadoff batter Nokes had three of South Mountain's six hits and scored two runs.

"You just never know what's going to happen until you play that first game," said National manager Jay Sutherland. "We lost the game on fundamentals."

Trevor Haupt and Hunter Phillips each had two of National's seven hits.

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