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Brunswick defeats National to force Game 3

July 25, 2005|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Four outs away from a regional championship, everything suddenly went south for the National Little League 9-10 All-Stars on Sunday.

Brunswick scored seven runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and squeezed out a 7-6 win over National in Game 2 of the Maryland 9-10 District 1-2 best-of-3 series, evening things at 1-1.

The deciding third game will be played tonight at 6 at National Little League's Staley Park.

"We played a good game," National manager Jeff Swope said. "Brunswick did a good job of coming back. They hit the ball. My pitcher got a little tired and I left him in too long. I'll take the blame for it. Our players did not lose the ballgame; I did."

National pitcher Aaron Roby held Brunswick scoreless through the first four innings on only 47 pitches.

But Roby started to run out of gas in the fifth and Brunswick took advantage by sending 13 batters to the plate. With two outs, nine consecutive batters reached base.

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Jordan Ault scored on a throwing error, Blaine Price ripped an RBI double to center and Joe Fawley hit an RBI single to center. Brice Beachley drew a bases-loaded walk, and Roby was pulled for Scott Bennett after throwing 34 pitches in the inning.

Brunswick scored three more runs on two walks and a hit batter, all with the bags packed.

"Their pitcher, Aaron Roby, had us off-balance," Brunswick manager Mark Tarleton said.

"We started to make contact in the fifth inning. We told our players to not swing at any bad pitches and be patient. It turned out to be a big inning for us. I think their pitcher was starting to get a little bit tired, since it was late in the game on a hot day."

National snapped a scoreless tie with a three-run third behind Roby's RBI groundout and catcher Keith Johnson's two-run homer to left.

National added three more runs in the top of the fifth on Johnson's RBI groundout, a throwing error and Logan Appel's a solo homer to left.

Dabbs, the winning pitcher for Brunswick, came on in relief to stop National's rally by striking out the next hitter. Cody Wenner pitched the sixth and retired all three hitters he faced to get the save.

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