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When Maugansville reigns, it pours

July 06, 2007|By CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

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MAUGANSVILLE - Maugansville weathered the storm Thursday, overcoming sloppy conditions to win 19-8 over South Mountain in the championship game of the Maryland District 1 Junior All-Star Tournament.

Much of the game was played in a steady downpour, leading to a combined 11 errors and numerous wild pitches. But Maugansville persevered.

"We got down a bit, but we kept a positive focus," said Maugansville manager Herb Cooper. "We try not to focus on mistakes, but rather capitalize on strengths."

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Maugansville capitalized on scoring chances early and often, scoring 16 runs in the first four innings. Six of those runs scored on wild pitches, while four came on passed balls.

Maugansville starter Ryan Cooper, while not dazzling, played damage control over four innings. He allowed eight runs, but pitched out of jams to force South Mountain to strand eight runners.

"Ryan has been a strong pitcher all year," Cooper said. "Conditions were bad with the rain and mud, but he prevailed."

Leading 16-8 in the bottom of the fifth, Maugansville just missed putting the 10-run rule in effect. One run scored when Colby Waugh came home on an infield error, but the potential 10th run was stranded at second.

But Maugansville put the nail on the coffin in the sixth when Justin Breeden crushed a 1-0 pitch to deep right for a walkoff two-run homer, giving Maugansville the 19-8 victory.

Breeden, who was walked in each of his first four at-bats, was relieved that he finally got a chance to get a good swing on the ball.

"I was waiting for it," Breeden said. "I saw the pitch and hit it as hard as I could."

After the game, Maugansville players took a celebration lap around the field with their new championship banner.

"This is my first time to win the championship, and it's the best feeling ever," said Breeden. "That was the best lap I've ever taken."

As far as Cooper was concerned, the credit for his team's success rests with the players.

"During the first talk I had with the players this season, I told them to play with intensity and integrity," Cooper said. "They did a great job. Everyone on this team is the ultimate player."

Waugh led Maugansville with two hits, while Andrew Webber had two hits to lead South Mountain.

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