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Scheffel plays the hero for Oakland

July 11, 2006|by TYLER KAHL/ / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - Bubba Scheffel didn't set out to be a hero. It just happened.

With the score 6-6 and the game-winning run on third in the bottom of the sixth inning, Scheffel drove a belt-high fastball from Zach Lucas back up the middle to give Oakland Little League a 7-6 victory and eliminate Conococheague from the District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament.

"I came up to the plate really nervous," said Scheffel. "I just tried to hit it."

Scheffel hit it in the same exact spot in two of his previous three at-bats, giving him a team-high three hits for the game.

"Bubba is one of our better hitters," said Oakland manager Jason Shreve. "He is a great leadoff man because he always makes solid contact."

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Oakland scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, capitalizing on two Conococheague errors, to tie the score 6-6 and afford Scheffel his opportunity.

Scheffel, Zach Knotts and Wyatt Mcbee led off the fifth with three straight singles. After McBee's single, Scheffel made the score 6-4, scoring on a throwing error. One out later, Knotts scored on Conococheague's second error to make the score 6-5. Cody Myers took advantage of the extra outs, hitting a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

"We beat ourselves tonight," said Conococheague manager Robbie Eyler. "Zach (Lucas) is one of our best pitchers. He just didn't get the backing."

Lucas pitched a complete game, walking none but surrendering 11 hits. Only four of the seven runs he gave up were earned.

Conococheague controlled the game early after a shaky performance by Oakland starter Ryan Bennett.

Bennett had difficulty finding the strike zone, walking six in the first three innings.

Bennett was chased in the fourth when Conococheague used two walks and a hit batsman to plate three runs. Bennett was relieved by Mason Dick, who was able to minimize the damage by getting out of a bases-loaded jam.

Dick held Conococheague hitless for the rest of the game to notch the win, baffling Conocheague batters with a steady diet of curveballs.

"He stepped up in a big situation," said Shreve. "His curveball is his best pitch and he's not afraid to keep going to it."

Oakland will play Federal at Conococheague Little League today at 6 p.m. in another losers' bracket contest.

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