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Oakland hangs on, eliminates Maugansville

July 15, 2005|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

MAUGANSVILLE - Defending Maryland District 1 champion Maugansville advanced to the final four of this year's Little League 11-12 Tournament, but that was where it ended as Maugansville dropped a 10-9 heartbreaker to Oakland in Thursday night's losers' bracket semifinal.

"We gave up too many walks and we did not get enough hits," Maugansville manager Danny Braithwaite said. "We got too little, too late."

Oakland travels to American tonight for the losers' bracket final at 6. Oakland will be making its fourth trip from Garrett County to Washington County in the last five days.

"It was a well-played baseball game," Oakland manager Jason Shreve said. "We took advantage of a couple of walks. We got key hits when we needed them tonight."

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Oakland fell behind 4-0 in the first inning, but narrowed the gap to 5-4 after two, then scored two runs in the fourth to take the lead for good at 6-5. Bubba Scheffel drew a one-out walk, followed by winning pitcher Cory Helbig's two-out, two-run home run to left.

Oakland increased its lead to 10-5 with a four-run rally with two outs in the fifth. Cody Myers and Ryan Kroll walked before Tyler Sweitzer's RBI double. Both Scheffel and Zack Knotts walked to bring in a run, before Helbig capped it with a two-run double to left.

Maugansville put up one last fight in the sixth. Micah Christensen led off with a single to right. One out later, Mike Braithwaite singled to center and Christensen scored on the play on an error. Ryan Sword belted a two-run homer to center, and Jake Bachtell followed with a solo homer to center to make it 10-9.

"I am very proud of my players. They did not quit," Braithwaite said.

A.J. Staley walked to put the potential tying run on first base, but Helbig settled down and retired the next two hitters to seal the win for Oakland. Helbig threw 24 of his 116 pitches in the sixth inning.

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