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Halfway sharp vs. Sharpsburg

June 30, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

SHARPSBURG - Most everything Halfway hit found open ground, while it was just the opposite for Sharpsburg in Friday's Maryland District 1 9-10 All-Star Tournament winners' bracket semifinal.

As a result, Halfway emerged victorious 10-1 and moves along the unbeaten trail to face Valley, a 5-3 winner over Concococheague, tonight at 6 p.m. in the winners' bracket championship game.

"We've got a good-hitting team and found the holes," said Halfway manager Scott Herbert.

On Tuesday, Halfway rolled to a 15-5 win over Clear Spring. Friday, Halfway spread its nine hits among nine players.

"In the first game we had hitting stars, and tonight we had a different group come through in the clutch," said Herbert.

Halfway combined a hit, a walk, two fielder's-choice plays, an error and a groundout to plate two first-inning runs. Halfway added two more in the second on a two-run double by Zach Andrews.

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Sharpsburg, which scored in the bottom of the first on an error and Jonathon Williamson's RBI single, threatened to get back into the game in the third, loading the bases on two walks and a Halfway error with one out.

Adam McDonald bounced to Halfway third baseman Matt Clopper, who threw home to force out Luke Harsh.

Halfway catcher Chris Harrell dropped the ball, which was ruled as being in the exchange from glove to hand, and the forceout stood. Pitcher Matt Malphurs got out of the inning and Halfway held firm at 4-1.

"That was a tough play to call," said Sharpsburg manager Chris Webber. "We didn't get anything out of that inning."

And not much after that, either.

Williamson's hit was the only one Sharpsburg had, as Malphurs went the first four innings with Harrell and Zach Barr finishing up.

"We had a great outing from three guys," said Herbert. "(Malphurs) pitched a lot during the season and got ahead with first-pitch strikes."

Halfway rudely greeted Williamson, who relieved in the fifth, with an explosion of doubles around three walks to break open the game.

Barr opened with a double, Clopper walked and both runners scored on a double by Cjase Eichelberger. Alec Wingerd walked and scored with Eichelberger on a double by Harrell, who later scored on an error.

"Their pitching did a good job, and when we hit the ball it was always at someone," said Webber, whose team had a 16-run explosion against Maugansville on Wednesday but had no such luck Friday.

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