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Patience pays off for South Mountain

July 10, 2007|By CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

BOONSBORO - Good things come to those who wait.

In this case, South Mountain waited until the fourth inning on Monday before breaking the game open, going on to beat West End 10-3 at Murphy Field in the Maryland District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament.

South Mountain plated a run in the first inning when Ean Stine scored on a bases loaded walk.

Psychologically, it might have been the biggest run of the game for South Mountain.

"We needed to get comfortable," said South Mountain manager Scott Hardy. "We seemed tight early on, but it helped when we got that first run under our belt."

Despite allowing a West End run in the third to tie the game at 1-1, South Mountain hung around and waited for a big inning.

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South Mountain got three runs in the fourth, aided by a pair of West End errors and an RBI single by Chad Cowden to make the score 4-1.

But Aaron Turner came up with the biggest hit of the night for South Mountain, clubbing a three-run home run to center field in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-1.

"(Turner) was slumping with the bat, but I gave him the bunt sign because sometimes it helps you see the ball better," said Hardy. "He pulled back and hit the ball well."

West End picked up two runs in the fifth when Austin Scott hit a two-run homer to right field, cutting South Mountain's lead to 7-3.

But two more West End errors and an RBI single by Zach Poffenberger helped South Mountain to score three more runs to make the score 10-3.

Despite the fact that his team scored 10 runs, Hardy recognized the contributions from his players' flawless defensive play.

"We spend a lot of time on defensive work," said Hardy. "The players probably get sick of it."

South Mountain's pitching also came through for them, as the tandem of Stine and James Merson combined to allow only eight baserunners.

"Ean can place the ball well, and James can do anything we ask him to do," Hardy said.

Hardy is confident that his team is capable of anything as long as they play smart, fundamental baseball.

"Our kids have heart, and they listen and play hard," said Hardy. "As long as you can hit the ball decently, pitching and defense wins games."

South Mountain hosts Conococheague at 6 p.m. today.

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