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Federal reserves berth at states

July 15, 2007|By TRAVIS KING

If there is a forgotten job on the Federal Little League team, it would be that of closer.

Federal just doesn't play tight games.

Manager Doug Hornbecker admits he was looking for one tight game in the Maryland District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament, just so Federal could say it had been there. It didn't happen, but Hornbecker isn't about to complain.

Federal used two homers each by Andrew Yacyk and Cole Myers and a stellar pitching performance from Aaron Showe in the course of four innings Saturday to defeat Maugansville 17-1 to go undefeated and win its first-ever district title.

"The first championship is the hardest to get," said Hornbecker. "I wish we could have played a close game before (states) to see how we react, but these kids love to play baseball. It's just fun for us."

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Federal advances to play in the Maryland State Tournament, beginning July 21 in Rising Sun, Md.

Federal jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, highlighted by Alex Courtney's RBI double and the first of Yacyk's two home runs, a two-run shot.

Federal blew the game wide open with eight runs in the second.

Charles Cvijanovich started the onslaught with an RBI single before two more runs scored on a sacrifice fly and an error. Yacyk hit a three-run homer over the center-field fence to make it 9-0.

"I was up there just hoping to get a hit," said Yacyk, who has played with a shoulder injury since the first game of the tournament. "My swing has been affected a little, but I do what I can for the team."

Zane Shreiber kept the Federal rally going with a double and scored when Myers got in on the offensive action with his first homer. Six of Federal's eight runs in the inning - and 11 of the 17 in the game - came with two outs.

"Our second inning obviously helped a lot," Hornbecker said. "I think seeing Maugansville the other day helped us because the kids were able to get comfortable at the plate."

Federal kept the runs coming with six in the third. Phillip Pietro and Shreiber each hit RBI singles, leading up to Myers' second two-run home run, an exclamation point on a spectacular day for his team at the plate.

"We faced the same pitchers as we did the last time we played them, so I knew what to look for," said Myers. "I was looking for a fastball to hit, and I got one."

Showe was nearly perfect on the mound for Federal, pitching all four innings, striking out five and allowing just one baserunner - Brent Mentzer's second-inning solo home run to provide Maugansville's only offense.

"I thought I was pretty relaxed tonight," said Showe. "Even after giving up that homer, I knew I could stay calm since we had that big lead."

Pietro reached base four times for Federal on two walks, a single and an error. Myers had three hits while Shreiber added two.

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