Federal beats Conococheague, forces final game

July 07, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - Zane Schreiber had what he described as his best game of the District 1 Little League 9-10 Tournament on Thursday night.

Good timing.

Schreiber fired a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and matched that success with three hits and three RBI as Federal avoided elimination once again by knocking off Conococheague 11-3 at Ebersole Field.

With its first loss of the tournament, Conococheague must travel to Federal on Tuesday for a decisive championship game at 6 p.m.

"I've had the pleasure of coaching (Schreiber) during the regular season," said Federal manager Charlie Wood. "He's a great kid and an exceptional pitcher. He's way ahead of his years."


On Thursday, Schreiber was way ahead of Conococheague. With the exception of an error-filled second inning, Schreiber put the clamps on Conococheague. Federal committed three errors in the second, leading to three unearned runs - the last two driven in by Sterling Christy on a double to the left-center-field gap. Christy had two of the four hits for Conococheague, which had averaged 16.5 runs per game in its four previous wins.

With the exception of the second inning, Schreiber was virtually unhittable. He gave up just two hits over his last four innings and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.

The polar opposite to Schreiber's pitching was that of Conococheague, which needed to face 11 batters just to record three outs in the third inning. Starter Brandon Toloso walked three in the inning and seven for the game, which eventually led to his exit.

The Conococheague defense made three errors. Couple those mistakes with three base hits, and Federal scored six times in the third inning to take a 6-3 lead. Schreiber capped the rally with a two-run double.

"What killed us was walks. We probably waited too long to change pitchers," said Conococheague manager Mike Iseminger. "I think the kids came in a little overconfident. Then after a couple of mistakes, they started to get their heads down."

With Schreiber on the mound, the game slipped further and further away until it was finally put away in the fifth. Federal sent eight batters to the plate and scored five more runs to up the lead to 11-3. Ryan Beard and Andrew Yacyk each had two-run singles.

"I think the thing that effected (Conococheague) was a long layoff of almost a week," Wood said. "On the other hand, we've been in must-win games since the first game of the losers' bracket and have won six straight elimination games."

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