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Hancock unlucky vs. South Mountain's No. 13

July 13, 2005|by BILL STERNER/Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - South Mountain coach Scott Hardy said his team just might have found its good-luck charm. Improbably enough, this charm happens to wear No. 13.

Brandon Nokes, No. 13 for South Mountain, scattered eight hits over six innings while striking out eight as South Mountain stayed alive in the District 1 Little League 11-12 Tournament losers' bracket with a 6-2 win over Hancock on Tuesday evening.

Nokes, who played for Hardy during the regular season, just did what his coach asked of him.

"Coach told me to cock back and throw as hard as I could tonight because (Hancock) can hit the ball," Nokes said. "As the game went on, I got more confident."

Nokes' teammates spotted him a 4-0 lead in the top of the first behind a key two-out double by Andy Weber that scored two runs. Nokes helped his cause by leading off with a bunt single.

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Hancock got to Nokes in the bottom of the first, sending eight batters to the plate and scoring two runs on RBI singles by Garrett Wile and Ryan Harper to climb back into the game at 4-2.

But after that inning, the normally heavy-hitting Hancock lineup went cold as Nokes pitched out of two situations with runners in scoring position.

"Brandon is my ace in the regular season and I have confidence in him," Hardy said. "He has a great changeup and a solid curveball, but we didn't use them a lot tonight."

South Mountain plated two more runs, while Nokes handcuffed the Hancock hitters.

But for Hancock coach Harold Hall, this year's team took a definite step in the right direction.

"Our goal was to be a solid six inning team," Hancock coach Harold Hall said. "We wanted to learn and use fundamentals and play good baseball. I look at these kids and I think we reached that goal."

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