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Late two-out rally lifts Conococheague

June 27, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - When the "two-out rally" chants began from the Conococheague dugout, very few could have expected just what kind of rally it would be.

Conococheague scored 11 runs with two outs in the top of the fifth inning behind a fervent bench to erase an eight-run deficit and notch a 13-12 victory against Maugansville to open the Maryland District 1 9-10 All-Star Tournament on Monday night.

"They've got heart and they won't quit," Conococheague coach Mike Iseminger said of his players. "It's Little League and it's 9- and 10-year-olds. They're never out of it, not until the game is over."

Conococheague gave up eight runs in the third inning and was on the verge of being sent to the losers' bracket via the 10-run mercy rule. Mike Sullivan and Trenton Sauble anchored the Maugansville charge with two-run singles. Maugansville had just three hits in the inning, but took advantage of four walks and two errors to take an 8-0 lead.

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"We were feeling pretty good," said Maugansville coach Rich Montgomery.

After Conococheague drew a leadoff walk in the fifth, the next two batters struck out on full counts, leaving Maugansville just four outs from victory. Then the Conococheague dugout came to life. And the offense followed.

The "two-out rally" chants got louder and louder as the next four Conococheague batters reached base to score two runs and load the bases for Sterling Christy, who tripled to left field to drive in three runs and cut the deficit to 9-7. Two batters later, Brandon Iseminger singled in the tying and go-ahead runs. Conococheague capped the inning with three more runs to take a 13-9 lead.

"We had one good inning," Mike Iseminger said. "They also had one good inning, but we just scored a couple more runs."

Maugansville answered the rally with three runs in the bottom of the fifth but was stopped short with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Maugansville was retired in order for the first time in the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Christy had two hits and drove in four runs for Conococheague, which will host Sharpsburg tonight at 6.

Maugansville will host a losers' bracket game on Wednesday against an opponent that will be determined tonight.

"These kids are fighters," Montgomery said. "They never gave up and, even after a couple of mistakes, didn't get their heads down. That's good to see."

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