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Lynch delivers as National beats American to stay alive

June 29, 2007|By TRAVIS KING / Staff Correspondent

Needing a victory to stay alive in the Maryland District 1 9-10 All-Star Tournament, National Little League turned to starting pitcher Kyler Lynch, who hadn't taken the mound all season.

Lynch didn't disappoint, taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning and combining with two other pitchers to eliminate American Little League in a 12-5 victory Thursday night at Brandenburg Field in a losers' bracket game.

"For a kid who didn't pitch all year until tournament time, Kyler did a good job and threw strikes," said National manager Jeff Swope. "He was one of our keys tonight."

National struck first with three runs in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI groundout by Lynch and a two-run single from Steven Wincovitch.

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The lead was extended to 7-0 as National sent 10 batters to the plate in the four-run second inning, capped off with consecutive RBI singles by Dalton Archer and Wincovitch.

"We redeemed ourselves from last night," said Swope, whose team fell 10-2 to Valley on Wednesday. "We came back and hit like we were supposed to hit."

Lynch cruised through the first two innings, facing the minimum six hitters. American scored a run in the third inning on a hit batsman and three walks, but Lynch pitched out of the jam by striking out the side.

In the fourth inning, American threatened by loading the bases for the second inning in a row on two walks and an infield single by Yusuf Buyou - the first hit of the game for American - which forced Lynch from the mound. The lead was cut to 7-3 on a Dre Johnson bases-loaded walk and a Billy Ship RBI single, but two runs was all American could get in the inning off reliever Wincovitch.

National scored twice in the fourth on a wild pitch and an error. Three more runs were scored by National in the fifth on a dropped fly ball, which brought two to the plate, and a bases-loaded walk to Archer.

American scored once more in the top of the sixth when Elijah Stubbs hit into a fielder's choice.

National batters showed patience at the plate, drawing 10 walks to go along with seven hits.

"I told them they had to hit good pitching tonight and lay off the bad stuff. They swung at a lot of bad stuff last night," Swope said.

Archer and Wincovitch had two hits each for National. Lynch lasted 3 1/3 innings in his start, allowing three runs on one hit. He struck out five and walked six. Wincovitch and Dalton Hottanger pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

National will travel to Hancock to play a losers' bracket game tonight.

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