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Hagerstown 'A' speeds on in PONY Sectional

July 21, 2007|By TRAVIS KING

The Hagerstown PONY League 'A' All-Star team may not have been the hardest hitting team to play Friday at Funkhouser Park, but it might have been the fastest.

Hagerstown used speed and streaky hitting to its advantage, pulling out an 8-4 win over Chambersburg National in the PONY Sectional Tournament.

"We didn't hit the ball as well as we could have, but (Chambersburg's) pitchers located really well against us," said Hagerstown manager Ed Kipe. "Speed was our key tonight, and we knew we could run as a team."

Chambersburg scored first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Starter Andrew Swackhammer singled, took second on a fielder's choice and scored when Adam Hagans hit an RBI single.

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Brian Lesher led off Hagerstown's second inning with a double, and scored on a Cody Englehart single to tie the game at 1.

Hagerstown extended its lead in the third inning. Brad Banzoff drew a leadoff walk, stole second and came home on a Christian Binford double off the fence in left-center field. Binford stole third and scored on a Lesher sacrifice fly to right. Two more runs scored on a Chambersburg error and a wild pitch to extend Hagerstown's lead to 5-1.

The Hagerstown lead quickly grew to 7-1 in the fourth inning. Tyquil Benson led off with a single, stole second base - his third steal of the game - and crossed the plate on a Zach Sauble single. Lesher later drove in Sauble with a single.

While Hagerstown was building its lead, starting pitcher Aaron Schroyer was settling in on the mound. After allowing Hagans' first-inning RBI single, Schroyer retired the next seven batters, four of them by strikeout.

"Our pitchers threw well," said Kipe. "We figured we had a bunch of speed coming in, and a lot of defense to back our pitchers up."

Chambersburg battled back in the bottom of the fourth against Schroyer and Hagerstown. Kevin Yohe was hit by a Schroyer pitch to start the inning and, after consecutive singles by Hagans, Anthony Jacoby and Lars Cline, Chambersburg pulled to 7-3. A two-out single and a second hit batter forced Kipe to pull Schroyer for Nate Willis, who retired Tyler Weary on a comebacker to the mound to end the potential rally.

The teams traded a run each in the fifth inning. Hagerstown scored on a Tyson Cline RBI fielder's choice. Chambersburg answered in the bottom of the frame when Yohe scored on a Jacoby infield single.

Chambersburg threatened in the late innings, but couldn't figure out a way to score against Hagerstown's relievers. Hagerstown walked Hagans and Jacoby to begin the seventh, but new reliever Lesher struck out the next three batters to end the game.

Hagerstown 'A' will play host to Chambersburg American in the winners' bracket final today at 7:30 p.m.

Chambersburg American 21, Mid-Maryland 3

In Friday's first game, Garrett Sanders had three hits, including a grand slam, and Kyle Patterson had three hits, including a home run, as Chambersburg American rolled over Mid-Maryland.

Jacob Dovey had four hits and Andrew Reed had three for Chambersburg. Nat Puryear and Devin Bell each had two hits for Mid-Maryland.

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