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Courtney goes the distance for Federal

July 11, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

HALFWAY - Federal Little League manager Dennis Corapi started Alex Courtney on the mound Monday night in hopes of getting three solid innings.

Corapi got much more as Courtney went the distance and was good enough as Federal knocked off Halfway 9-4 in the losers' bracket of the District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament.

Halfway is eliminated in district play, while Federal will face another elimination game tonight at 6 p.m. when it plays Oakland at Conococheague Little League.

Courtney scattered nine hits Monday, but suffered minimal damage when Halfway could have broken the game open. He hit a speed bump early, surrendering a three-run home run to Jordan Payne in the bottom of the first inning and Andrew Remirez's RBI infield single in the second to fall behind, 4-0.

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The chances of Courtney reaching Corapi's target of three innings appeared slim, but the right-hander settled down. He left the bases loaded in the second inning and held Halfway scoreless over the final four frames.

"(Courtney) pitched a great game," Corapi said. "I was only planning on pitching him for three innings, but I decided in the fourth to let him keep going because he was getting stronger. We had other pitching ready if he got in trouble ... but he never got in trouble."

Federal scored nine unanswered runs, sparked by Zach Schreiber's solo home run in the third to close the deficit to 4-1. Federal tied the game in the fourth. Austin Holly singled in a run, and two batters later, Cole Myers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Schreiber followed with an RBI fielder's choice to knot the game.

Federal took its first lead of the game in the fifth when Charles Cvijanovich drew a one-out walk and remained alert on the bases. He moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on the catcher's errant return throw to the pitcher. The second baseman backed up the throw and attempted to throw out Cvijanovich at third, but that throw was also errant, allowing Cvijanovich to slide safely into home and give Federal a 5-4 lead.

"That was some smart baserunning," Corapi said. "(Cvijanovich) never looked back and kept his head down. He wasn't stopping."

The ball continued to bounce Federal's way in the sixth inning, as two bad hops in the outfield and an infield error scored four insurance runs to give Federal a 9-4 advantage, which Courtney protected in the bottom of the inning.

Payne, Cody Hadley and Robbie Vinson each finished with two hits for Halfway.

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