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Sharpsburg comes out swinging against National

June 25, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

SHARPSBURG -- Sharpsburg Little League coach Chris Webber knew the importance of an opening-round win in the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament.

National Little League will find out today as it drops into the do-or-die life of the losers' bracket.

Sharpsburg came out sharp Tuesday with four straight base hits in the bottom of the first inning and it kept the offense going behind a solid outing from pitcher Trey Ebersole in a 10-0 home victory over National.

"I figured we had to get the first (win) and go from there," Webber said. "With the kids we've got, we bat all the way through the lineup."

Gunner Ingram led off the Sharpsburg first inning with a bunt single and Alex Wetzel, Matt Harsh and Dakota Smith followed with base hits. Ingram, Wetzel and Harsh later scored for a 3-0 lead.

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After a short break -- Ebersole retired National on five pitches in the second -- Sharpsburg was back on the attack.

No. 9 hitter Austin Getridge led off with an infield single and scored on Wetzel's second hit of the game. Ingram, who walked earlier in the inning, scored on a fielder's choice by Harsh for a 5-0 edge.

Four of the first six Sharpsburg hits never left the infield.

"They are hustlers," Webber said. "That's for sure."

Sharpsburg's Matt Nolan drew a one-out walk in the third and Getridge, pinch-hitter Ethan Connelly and Wetzel followed with consecutive singles during a four-run binge for a 9-0 lead.

Ebersole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth to set up the Sharpsburg 10-run victory in the bottom of the frame.

Sharpsburg nearly wasted a bases-loaded, no-out situation after hitting into a double play on a line out. Still, it had runners on second and third and the next pitch went to the backstop to allow Ingram to score the clinching run.

Ebersole allowed only one hit -- a first-inning double by Chandler Penn -- walked four and struck out two in the victory. He stranded seven National baserunners in four innings and five were in scoring position.

"We go deep in pitchers, but he's definitely one of our aces," Webber said. "He held his own out there even though he walked a couple. He has confidence in his defense."

Sharpsburg will host Clear Spring today at 6 p.m. National falls to the losers' bracket and will play the Federal-Conococheague loser on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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