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Showe time - Winning pitcher homers for Federal

July 07, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

Aaron Showe got mad. ... Then he got even.

And in the long run, that was enough to make the Federal starting pitcher happy.

Showe gave up a home run and then redeemed himself with a two-run blast of his own to ignite a four-run fifth inning, as Federal beat National 7-3 Friday in the first round of the Maryland District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament.

It all started when Scott Bennett ripped a solo homer to left in the second inning to put National into a 1-1 tie.

It got Showe's attention.

"I got mad," Showe said. "I knew I could throw it past him and I didn't. I just threw it down the middle."

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The wakeup call put Showe and Federal on track as they scored two runs in the third with the help of two National errors, with both runs scoring on passed balls.

It was a prime example of National's woes. In all three of Federal's rallies, National lacked some execution, which prolonged the innings and led to runs.

"We waited too long to hit the ball and we gave them too many extra chances," said National manager Scott Appel. "Usually, pitching and defense is our strong point. Every time we made a mistake, they made us pay."

The biggest payoff came in the fifth inning when Federal batted around and Showe made up for his one early mistake.

National starter Logan Appel was on his way to a routine inning, retiring the first two Federal batters before it all unraveled.

Andrew Yacyk lined a single off shortstop Dylan Appel's glove to open the door. Showe slammed it with an opposite-field, line-drive homer to right, almost hitting his fan club that was sitting behind the fence.

"After I hit that, it loosened me up," Showe said. "I knew I had a (six-run) lead."

Federal added two more runs in the inning, using two more National errors and some aggressive baserunning to produce the insurance provided by Alijah Benson's two-run, bases-loaded single off Bennett in relief.

"We have a lot of speed from top to bottom in our lineup," said Federal manager Doug Hornbecker. "We try to run the bases aggressively. The first home run (by Bennett) got to Aaron a little, but he's a little more mature. This is the fifth season he's been on my regular-season team and he's become a good pitcher."

National got to Showe some as he neared the end of his 85-pitch limit, with the help of some loose defense behind him.

Consecutive errors with one-out allowed Dylan Appel to slide home with one run and Logan Appel deposited Showe's final pitch over the left-center field wall to bring National back to within four runs.

Showe lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out seven. Phillip Pietro came on to pitch the final 1 1/3 to finish the game, but not without a struggle from National.

Jordan Dickens hit a two-out double followed by Jay Holbrook being hit by a pitch and Bryce Nigh's single to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth. Dylan Appel lined a shot to second that Benson picked off to end the game.

Nigh and Jayme Sutherland led National with two hits each. Yacyk had three hits for Federal before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.

"I think (Showe), being lanky and with his size, made our guys think he was able to bring it," Scott Appel said. "We didn't hit well against him early. We hit too many back to him and hit too many easy plays.

"We'll just have to drop to the losers' bracket and battle now. I'm proud of the way we played in the last two innings. I told them I didn't know who they were in the first four."

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