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Nine is enough for American

July 11, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

American Little League only had nine players available for Tuesday's night game against Halfway.

It was all it needed.

American came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Halfway 9-4 in the Maryland District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament losers' bracket game. American (3-1), which eliminated Halfway (1-2), will play at Hancock tonight at 6.

"That is all that we have," American manager Rod Wilson said. "The core of this team has been together since they were 9 years old. It's a scrappy bunch. It seems like every night, someone new steps up."

Ahmere Ware hit a pair of home runs to drive in five runs.

"The kids are hitting," Wilson said. "When you get the leadoff man on, good things happen. I have had Ahmere Ware all my career. He won the home run derby for us."

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American starting pitcher Trey Jesse struck out eight batters, while allowing four runs and two hits in 4 2/3 innings for the win. All four runs were unearned.

American relievers Brendon Colbert pitched one-third of an inning and Darian Hampton went one inning and retired the final four Halfway batters to seal the victory.

Chris Watts, Jesse and Hampton added two hits each for American.

American scored three runs in the fourth inning. Jesse led off with a single to left and Ware followed with a two-run homer to center. Hampton singled to right and Tyler Maust walked. One out later, C.J. Davis reached on a forceout at third before Watts doubled to center to knock in Maust to cut Halfway's lead down to 4-3.

American scored two more runs in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. Colbert led off with a single to center and took second on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Hampton doubled to right to drive in Colbert with the tying run. Hampton took third on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on a single to center by Maust.

American got its final four runs in the sixth on a squeeze bunt by Colbert and a three-run homer to center by Ware.

Halfway scored two runs in the second on a fielding error and got two more runs in the third on an outfield error.

"We made some mistakes that cost us," Halfway manager Warren Sauble said. "We ran out of pitching. I was pleased with our team's performance and behavior throughout the tournament. They represented Halfway Little League very well in the tournament."

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