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Conway hits right spot for Smithsburg

Two-run homer in 8th lifts Leopards over Williamsport

Two-run homer in 8th lifts Leopards over Williamsport

May 15, 2008|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Josh Conway showed a flair for the dramatic on Wednesday.

Conway snapped a 5-5 tie with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-run homer to give Smithsburg a thrilling 7-5 win over Williamsport in a Maryland Class 1A West quarterfinal.

Smithsburg (7-13) heads to Frostburg State today at 4 p.m. to face Mountain Ridge in a region semifinal. Mountain Ridge advanced with a 3-2 upset win over top-seeded Northern Garrett.

"It was great," Conway said. "It was a fastball down the middle. I was kind of shocked. I looked over at the team and put my arms up in the air. Everyone was up in the dugout. That is what we have got to do to win: Play with more intensity."

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With two outs in the eighth, Phil Shriver got the Leopards' rally started by reaching on an infield error. Conway followed by blasting the two-run homer to left.

"That's something that you dream about as a player: To hit a walk-off home run," Fowkes said. "The dugout erupted with a lot of excitement. Hopefully, that carries over into tomorrow."

Conway and Shriver each had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice, while Kyle Orndorff added two hits for Smithsburg.

Conway pitched the first seven innings, allowing five unearned runs while striking out six batters.

Jay Shafer pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief, shutting down the Wildcats' 3-4-5 hitters for the victory.

Smithsburg opened the scoring with a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Brandon Knight and Brock Kettoman.

Williamsport (6-13) scored three runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead on a two-run single by Travis Sluger and an RBI single by Drew Williams.

The Leopards responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by Shafer and a two-run single fron Shriver to regain a 5-3 lead.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the seventh to tie the score at 5-5 on a two-run double by Adam Plume.

"We played hard and we battled back," Williamsport coach Larnie Vickers said. "I would just like to see a different ending. Everybody scrapped for everything that they got. It just didn't go our way at the end. But I am proud of our boys for the way that they hung in there."

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