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Dopson's homer sparks Federal to victory

June 29, 2007|By CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

How quickly a game can turn on one swing of a bat.

Struggling to muster offense in a tied game, Federal's Aaron Dopson gave his team a much-needed boost when he crushed a two-run home run in the third inning against Maugansville on Thursday at Federal Little League. Federal went on to win 18-5 in five innings in the Maryland District 1 9-10 All-Star Tournament losers' bracket.

"That home run was a spark that got this team going," said Federal manager Charlie Wood. "It really got the bats started."

After two innings, Federal found itself lacking momentum in a 3-3 game. Its starter, Preston Carey, lasted only one inning after a shaky start, and the offense stranded five runners.

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But Dopson's two-run homer to left-center field started an offensive tear in which Federal scored 15 runs on 16 hits over the final three innings.

Cole Conrad's RBI single and Carey's run-scoring double helped Federal put up seven runs in the third inning to take a commanding 10-3 lead.

Federal added three more runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by Justin Smith's RBI triple and Phillip Lloyd's RBI double.

Lloyd reached base safely in each of his five at-bats, and he also provided Federal with solid relief to help seal the win.

"I can't say enough about Phillip," said Wood. "He's a gutsy kid, and I know I can count on him. He took command."

Lloyd went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out three.

Federal added five runs in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate. Alex Barnhart scored on an infield error and Conrad hit a two-run single. Carey and Dopson added a pair of RBI singles to cap the scoring.

After holding its ground against Federal early, Maugansville fell apart.

"Our defense has let us down the past two games," said Maugansville manager Kenny Shanholtz. "We jumped on them early and had momentum, but they put the ball in play and made us work."

Federal will host Clear Spring at 6 p.m. today.

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