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Conococheague wins state title

July 24, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Playing baseball was a group effort for the Conococheague 9-10 All-Stars.

"In every game, different kids contributed in their own ways," said Conococheague manager Mike Iseminger. "And in each game, a different kid stepped up."

On Monday, it was Blake Harne's turn.

Harne pitched a three-hitter to settle down Conococheague and send it on the way to 13-3 victory over Berlin to win the state championship.

"The kids were really anxious and we were confident, maybe too much," Iseminger said. "We played sloppy. It was probably the worst game we played fielding and baserunning. I think it created our errors."

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It didn't matter.

Conococheague scored four runs in the first and built to a four-inning victory to win the title.

It was Conococheague's first state title since 1961 when the 11-12 team won the state title, which was also played in Cambridge.

Conococheague rode its offense, outscoring the opposition 54-14 in the double-elimination tournament.

"Actually, we faced tougher teams in district play than we did here," Iseminger said. "The toughest team we played was Frederick in the semifinals."

Conococheague, playing as the home team, scored in each of the four innings. Harne, who finished with four strikeouts, allowed Berlin its three runs in the second to make the game 4-3, but Conococheague came back with three in the second inning to extend the lead.

"I think the kids were comfortable after they got that early four-run lead," Iseminger said. "I wasn't. I was worried even later on when we were up by nine."

Once Conococheague took command, Harne was at his best.

"They only got three hits off of him, but they were all little bloops," Iseminger said. "Tonight was Harne's night. He mixed his pitches well."

J.J. Cooper had three hits to lead Conococheague, which went undefeated in the tournament. Sinjin Shoop and Wyatt Scriever each added two hits while Riley Arnone drove in the final run which ended the game by the mercy rule and send the state title to Western Maryland.

Conococheague advanced to the finals with a 4-3 victory over Frederick American. Arnone and Jordan Stonebreaker combined on a four-hitter while striking out 10. Stonebreaker finished with two hits, including a two-run home run.

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