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Hagerstown eliminated from PONY 13 Zone Tournament

July 26, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

Hagerstown was eliminated from the Pony League 13-year-old East Zone Tournament on Tuesday night, losing a 5-4 heartbreaker to Boardman (Ohio).

Hagerstown finished third with a 1-2 record in the four-team, double-elimination tournament. Hagerstown lost 8-7 in eight innings to Boardman on Sunday.

"I'm just proud of the way that we hung in there all night," Hagerstown manager Steve Blickenstaff said. "We tried hard and we did not give up. It was a very talented group of kids. We just didn't have the kind of luck that we needed to have against this team. It was our second one-run loss to them. Boardman got timely hitting. They hung in there like we did. They deserve a lot of credit."

Ty Benson had three hits for Hagerstown, which rallied from a 3-1 deficit by scoring three runs in the sixth. Christian Binford led off by blasting a solo homer to right. Andrew Moats followed with a double to center. One out later, Garrick Boward slugged a two-run homer to center.

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But Boardman came right back. Alec Neapolitan led off the top of the seventh with a single to right and took second on a wild pitch. Dan Dougherty laid down a sacrifice bunt and everybody was safe as Neapolitan beat the throw to third. Dougherty promptly stole second.

Joe Markovich's squeeze bunt scored Neapolitan with the tying run as Markovich was retired at first, and Dougherty advanced to third on a throwing error past the catcher. Dougherty later came home on a wild pitch for the winning run for Boardman.

"It was a great team effort," Boardman manager Tony Tarantino said. "This team has fought back all year long. This is the type of team that will never die. They will fight until the end."

Hagerstown scored its first run in the third. Cody Englehart walked and Aaron Schroyer, Benson and Nick Stubbs followed with singles, Stubbs' driving in Englehart.

In Tuesday night's late game, New Bedford (Mass.) defeated Boardman 12-2 to win the tournament championship, going 3-0.

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