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National takes Game 1 from Brunswick, 6-4

July 24, 2005|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Pull one out from the book of cliches.

Good teams find a way to win despite making some mistakes.

Chapter One of the Maryland 9-10 District 1-2 Regional Tournament went to National on Saturday - a hard-earned 6-4 decision over Brunswick. In the best-of-3 series, National can close out Brunswick in the second game today at 2.

"We had some dumb baserunning, but fortunately, we are a good-hitting team," National manager Jeff Swope said after reliever Aaron Roby recorded a save by fanning Brunswick's Joseph Fawley to end a spirited battle.

"Winning the first game is huge," said Swope. "We'll have the kids pumped up and focused for the next game."

Down 1-0 in the top of the third, National tied the game when Dylan Appel scored on a Brunswick fielding error. However, with two hits, a walk and fielder's choice, National let an opportunity slide by when Jordan Dickens was thrown out at home and Roby was tagged out at second base on a grounder in front of him.

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After Brunswick took the lead back at 2-1 in the bottom of the third on two walks and three wild pitches, an undaunted National team came back with four runs in the fourth inning as Joshua Miller started a one-out rally with a single and went to second on a fielding error.

Scott Bennett lashed a double to left that scored Miller. Dickens reached on an error and Dylan Appel hit a sharp single to left that loaded the bases. Roby grounded to first to score Bennett for a 3-2 lead, which became 5-2 when Keith Johnson smacked a single past second.

Starter and winner Logan Appel allowed only three hits and struck out eight, but wildness from a tiring arm nearly cost him. Brunswick scored two runs in the fifth on two walks, a single, and five wild pitches before he settled down.

"I was getting tired and my arm was getting sore and I started getting wild," said Logan Appel. "It was the biggest game I've pitched in."

Swope said Appel came to him after the fifth inning and said he was tired, paving the way for Roby to close the door.

National, which is likely to start Roby in today's game, secured a big insurance run in the sixth on a single by Dylan Appel and triple by Roby. Roby and Bennett each had two of National's 10 hits.

"(Today), we just have to work harder, get some more hits and play better defense," said Logan Appel.

Dickens made the play of the game in the third inning when he snuffed out a Brunswick run on a wild pitch by hustling for the stray pitch and quickly turning toward the plate to slam into Brunswick's Cole Fleming in a collision that left Fleming dazed - and out. Fleming returned immediately to the field after some attention.

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