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Halfway does it all to beat American

June 25, 2008|By NEIL WRONA / Staff Correspondent

It doesn't matter at what level the game of baseball is being played, all-around hitting and superb pitching is how teams win games.

That's exactly what the Halfway Little League 9-10 All-Stars got in their 8-1 win Tuesday against American Little League in the Maryland District 1 Tournament.

American took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first - American lost a coin flip and thus was the visiting team on its home field. Elijah Stubbs started the inning with a leadoff double, stole third and scored on a throwing error.

Halfway came back in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Matt Malphurs scored on a wild pitch and Ryan Downes scored on an error.

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From there, Halfway never looked back, scoring six runs in the bottom of the second on four hits, two walks and two errors.

"It was everyone," Halfway coach Dave Showe said, "I think we sent something like 14 batters to the plate in that second inning."

Zach Andrews' two-run triple opened the floodgates after back-to-back walks to start the second inning. Malphurs and Downes each drove in two runs later in the frame - all before American recorded an out.

Halfway got the pitching performance of Zach Andrews' young life. Andrews pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on 75 pitches, striking out eight and walking one.

"He was just on fire," Showe said. "That was his best game of the year."

The lefty was dominant through the first three innings. In the third, though, Andrews seemed to have some discomfort in his pitching shoulder, despite sitting American down in order.

The fourth inning was the only time Andrews struggled. He allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases, but pitched his way out of the jam without surrendering a run.

Bryce Ruppenthal came over from first base to relieve Andrews, striking out the last two batters to end the game.

Halfway will play Hancock today at 6 p.m. at Marty Snook Park, while American will play its next game Thursday night at home.

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