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North Allegheny eliminates local Colt All-Stars

July 23, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

The Hagerstown Colt League White All-Stars came up on the short end of both a pitchers' duel and a slugfest on Sunday, and the lights went out on the 2007 season.

Brad Comport's solo home run in the sixth inning gave North Allegheny a 2-1 victory and spoiled Brandon Knight's gem in the first game of the East Zone West Regional championship round, forcing a deciding game at Hellane Park.

Playing their third game of the day and fifth in two days, North Allegheny never let up, scoring six runs before Hagerstown ever swung a bat and rolling to a 14-7 victory and the title.

"They shut us down hitting-wise in the first game, and it carried over," Hagerstown manager Brad Hineman said.

Knight allowed four hits and struck out 10 in the first game, but it was Comport's shot that mattered most.

The victory breathed added life into North Allegheny, and it teed off with six hits in the first inning of the second game. Jackson Boyd produced the biggest knock - a three-run homer - and RBI singles by Dan Wentz and Nick Butterini added to the damage off Hagerstown starter Kyle Crist.

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"We threw one of our better pitchers, but they're used to his speed," Hineman said. "They swung the bats better. Our kids kinda went to sleep the first game."

Hagerstown cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the first without a hit, using two walks, two errors and Tyler Presgraves' sacrifice fly to slice the deficit in half.

But errors - eight in all - started taking a toll on Hagerstown, as North Allegheny extended the lead with a run in the second, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and three more in the sixth to make it 13-3.

"They started feeling the pressure and started to push for things," Hineman said. "They tried too hard and make some mistakes."

Hagerstown staved off the 10-run rule in the bottom of the sixth, getting four of its seven hits in the frame, including Jordan Thurber's RBI single.

But a 6-4-3 double play kept the rally from doing even more damage, and after North Allegheny got a run back in the top of the seventh on Wentz's second RBI single of the game, Brandon Glazer's RBI single in the bottom half proved to be too little, too late.

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