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Rainy day, then Sunday restart doesn't get down Conococheague

June 30, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

WILLIAMSPORT -- The suspension of Saturday's District 1 Junior Tournament winners' bracket game between Hancock and Conococheague presented a double-edged sword to the home team.

It gave Conococheague a day to forget about its seven errors through 3 2/3 innings, but the suspended game also forced it to use one of its pitchers earlier than expected.

Conococheague took the good with the bad when the game resumed Sunday, pulling away for a 16-9 victory to advance in the winners' bracket at Nelson F. Deal Park.

"It let them sit back and look at how (badly) they played yesterday," said Conococheague coach Rick Aleshire. "I don't know if there was any turning point. We just want to gradually get better each game. Now is the time to start focusing in."

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Conococheague was down by as many as five runs on Saturday before taking its first lead at 11-8 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Storms forced the game to be suspended, giving both teams a full day to readjust.

"It was important for us to get the lead before (the suspension)," Aleshire said. "I think that helped."

Aleshire used Hunter Eyler in relief Saturday, but was forced to use Brandon Greene when the game resumed Sunday. He said neither pitcher will be available on Tuesday when they play at Maugansville. Pockets Taylor will likely get the nod.

"The suspension affected our pitching," Aleshire said. "We had to use one of the guys we were planning on using in the next game. Now we can't."

Greene pitched solidly on Sunday. He fired two scoreless innings before giving up an unearned run in the seventh, at which point the game was well in hand.

The Conococheague offense didn't miss a beat after the suspension, tacking on two runs when play resumed on Sunday for a six-run fourth inning - Conococheague scored four before the suspension Saturday - and a 13-8 lead.

Greene reached on an error and scored in the fifth, and consecutive hits in the sixth by Jordan Palladino, Dalton Cavender and Alex Aleshire scored two more runs for a 16-8 edge.

Greene, Bradley Miller and Palladino each finished with two hits. Conococheague was helped by 12 walks.

"A lot of it was making the guys get more patient at the plate," Rick Aleshire said. "You'll hear me say 1,000 times that we have to be patient up there."

Hunter McKinley and Aaron Wagner led Hancock with two hits each.

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