National treasure

Natonal's 9-10 All-Stars hold off Federal for district 1 title

Natonal's 9-10 All-Stars hold off Federal for district 1 title

July 13, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

Down one run in the top of the sixth inning with the tying run on third base, the go-ahead run on second and the team's hottest hitter at the plate, Federal might not have been able to ask for a more perfect ending.

Until National's Aaron Roby threw the perfect pitch, getting Kevin Proctor to pop out to shortstop Jordan Dickens for the final out as National held on for a 6-5 victory Tuesday in the championship game of the Maryland District 1 Little League 9-10 Tournament at Federal.

"He threw a curveball and (Proctor) got underneath it," said National manager Jeff Swope, moments after his players doused him with water from a cooler. "My big star tonight was my pitcher. Every time we got into trouble, he got the big out."


None was bigger than the last. Federal, which trailed 6-2 after four innings, had already scored two runs in the top of the sixth.

After a pair of National errors put runners on second and third with one out, Ryan Kinter delivered an RBI single and Mark Grunsberg hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 6-5. Max Ober then walked and stole second to set the stage for Proctor, who already had doubled twice, scored twice and driven in a run.

"That's who we wanted up there," Federal manager Charlie Wood said. "He's been clutch for us all year, leading the team in hitting."

Proctor went the distance for the win, allowing six hits, two walks and two earned runs while striking out three.

National advances to the sectional playoffs and will host the District 2 champion from Frederick County in a best-of-3 series July 23-25. The winner of that series goes to states.

Federal, the losers' bracket champion, picked up where it left off Monday, when it beat National, the winners' bracket champ, 8-2 to force Tuesday's grand finale. Proctor led off the game by reaching third on an error, and Alija Benson immediately followed with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead.

National answered with two runs in the bottom of the first on Keith Johnson's RBI double and Dalton Udovich's RBI groundout.

National extended the lead to 3-1 in the second on Dylan Appel's RBI single. After Federal cut it to 3-2 in the third on back-to-back doubles by Ober and Proctor, National got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Dickens' RBI single, his second hit of the game.

Keith Johnson and Logan Appel gave National a 6-2 lead in the fourth as each scored on an error.

Federal cut it to 6-3 in the fifth as Proctor doubled and scored on a single by Benson.

"That was a good ball club we played over there," Swope said. "They showed that last night and came back and wanted it as bad as we did tonight. But we pulled it off."

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