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Maugansville takes strides to oust Hancock

Maugansville takes strides to oust Hancock

July 14, 2007|By TRAVIS KING

MAUGANSVILLE - The Maryland District 1 11-12 All-Star losers' bracket final turned from a game of baseball into one of cat and mouse.

Each time Hancock closed the gap on Maugansville's lead, Maugansville found a way to pull away.

Maugansville, with the help of a five-run first inning, held off several Hancock rallies to secure a 10-8 win and a berth in the district final.

Federal hosts Maugansville in the district final today at 6 p.m.

Hancock took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Vinnie Foreman doubled and scored on a Nathan Koontz RBI single.

Maugansville manager Rich Montgomery made sure it was the only deficit his team would have to overcome.

Matt Daley and Troy Carbaugh led off with consecutive singles and scored on a Hancock error and a bases-loaded walk to Chad Shindle. A wild pitch and RBI singles from John Britton and Daley plated three more runs before Carbaugh, the 11th batter of the inning, popped out to end the outburst with Maugansville holding a 5-1 lead.

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"I knew these boys could come back (after Wednesday's 12-0 loss to Federal) and hit like they have been so far in the tournament," said Montgomery.

"We settled in after that inning, but we just couldn't get control of the game again," said Hancock manager Dennis Douglas.

Hancock quickly answered with a three-run third, starting with Levi Mellott homering on the first pitch of the inning. Three batters later, Nathan Koontz hit a homer of his own, a two-run blast that cut Maugansville's lead to 5-4.

Maugansville pulled ahead a little more with a run in the third on an RBI groundout from Brandon Stride.

Hancock bounced back again in the fourth, capitalizing on two Maugansville errors and a Foreman RBI single. With one out and runners on second and third, Montgomery pulled reliever C.J. Owings for Daley, who struck out the next two hitters to end the rally.

"We were experimenting a little with our pitching in case of a win tonight," said Montgomery. "Daley's been awesome for us. He's rock solid on the mound."

With Hancock remaining in its rear-view mirror, Maugansville got some needed insurance in the way of four fifth-inning runs on a Daley RBI single and a three-run double by Brent Mentzer.

Hancock made a final attempt at a rally with one out in the sixth, when four Maugansville errors - including two on a Tanner Manning grounder - produced two runs. Koontz later hit a sacrifice fly to score Foreman before Daley got Tanner Faith to pop to first to end the game.

"I'm not sure what happened in the sixth, other than I think we got a little jittery and nervous with the lead we had," Montgomery said.

"We were coming up on our big bats," said Douglas. "I thought if we just got a runner on, a homer would tie the game, but it just wasn't our night."

Daley and Britton had three hits each, while Carbaugh and Mentzer each added two for Maugansville. Foreman had three hits and Koontz had two for Hancock.

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