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Encore, encore

Chambersburg does no better in 2nd look at Binford

Chambersburg does no better in 2nd look at Binford

July 24, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

It was so enjoyable the first time, Christian Binford decided to give an encore performance.

For the second time in three days, Binford struck out 15 Chambersburg American batters for a complete-game victory to lift Hagerstown 'A' to an 11-3 win for the PONY League sectional tournament Monday at Funkhouser Park.

Hagerstown advances to the regionals, which begin Sunday in Boardman, Ohio.

"During the second time that I was facing that team, they were more able to hit my pitches," Binford said. "But I was more focused this time, because this was the championship game. I just wanted to work in my breaking ball more than in the first game. They were catching up to my fastball."

Binford had Hagerstown's offensive support to thank for putting him more at ease.

"Our hitting came alive in the middle innings," Binford said. "I just got more into the game and I settled down. That was probably the most focused game that I ever pitched. I wanted that game the most."

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Binford fired a three-hitter, while allowing two earned runs and two walks in seven innings. Binford also had two hits and scored two runs.

Chambersburg (3-2) held a 3-1 lead when Hagerstown (3-1) came up to bat in the bottom of the third. But Hagerstown exploded for seven runs to erase the deficit and take an 8-3 lead. Tyquil Benson capped the rally by blasting a grand slam to center to give Hagerstown the five-run advantage.

"It was where I liked it, right down the middle," Benson said. "It was where I could drive it. I couldn't even feel it when it got off the bat. It really brought the team up. We haven't had a big inning like that in a while. It felt good. All we needed was a little bit of a lead, because we had Binford on the mound. They couldn't hit him."

Brad Banzhoff slugged a two-run homer and Corey Carpenter belted a solo homer for Hagerstown. Zach Sauble, Cody Englehart, Banzhoff and Carpenter got two hits each for Hagerstown.

"The key hit was obviously the grand slam by Tyquil Benson," Hagerstown manager Ed Kipe said. "That just turned everything around. Christian Binford is our horse. He wanted the ball and he threw the ball where he wanted it. He pitched two good games in the last three nights. If you can hold Chambersburg to four runs in 14 innings, it is a tremendous effort."

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