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Price is right for American

July 12, 2005|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Dustin Price threw a three-hitter with eight strikeouts to lead American Little League to a 4-1 victory over Oakland in a District 1 11-12 Tournament winners' bracket game Monday at Brandenburg Field.

American plays host to Valley in the winners' bracket final tonight at 6. Oakland drops into the losers' bracket and will travel to either South Mountain or Hancock on Wednesday.

"I thought that I did great," Price said. "I usually don't strike that many people out. I feel good about the support that my teammates gave me with their bats. We have got unbelievable talent and we have got a chance to go far."

Price retired 10 of the first 13 batters that he faced.

"Dustin pitched a heck of a ballgame," American manager Ted Casper said. "Dustin was hitting his spots and dropping his curve whenever he needed to."

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Oakland pitcher Cory Helbig allowed no earned runs and only two hits, while fanning six batters, in six innings.

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on back-to-back doubles by Ryan Bennett and Calvin Hilliard.

American came back to score two runs in the third to take the lead at 2-1. Ryan Springirth came home on Jordan Anderson's groundout and Corey Ballard scored on a single to left by Nick Stubbs.

Alex Harshman came home on an error and Blake Lyles scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jordan Anderson to boost American's lead to 4-1 in the fourth.

"There weren't any stars on offense," Casper said. "It was a team effort. We got the hit when we needed it."

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