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Gift rapped - Williams rips two HRs to lift Conococheague, give present to Mom

July 10, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

WILLIAMSPORT - Nick Williams had two reasons to celebrate on Wednesday.

He powered a pair of three-run home runs to lead Conococheague to an 11-3 victory over Halfway at Ebersole Field in a Maryland District 1 11-12 winners' bracket game to give a present to his mother for her birthday.

"I got a fastball the first time and I just waited to get another fastball on the second one," said Williams, who hit 12 homers during the regular season.

Conococheague moves on to the winners' bracket finale tonight at Federal, an 11-1 winner over Maugansville. Halfway drops into the losers' bracket and will play at home on Friday against tonight's Valley-Hancock winner.

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Sterling Christy reached on an error to help Conococheague jump on Halfway starter Ryan Boward. Brett Vitkun singled to second and the stage was set for Williams' drive to right center off Boward's 11th and last offering in the first inning.

Jack Kelly singled off reliever Kenny Mack, moved to second on a walk to Brandon Iseminger and scored on a single to center by Blake Harne to complete the four-run inning.

"We had some jitters in the first game and (tonight) we came out a different team," said manager Mike Renn, after Monday's 2-1 win over West End. "We seemed to have some confidence and were more patient at the plate."

Mack settled down, striking out eight and allowing only an unearned run in the third in four innings of relief to give his team a chance to get back into the contest.

Halfway scored twice in the third on a bunt single by Nick Sauble, a single to center by Bobby Brennan and a two-run single by Boward to knock Vitkun out of the box.

Jordan Stonebreaker allowed a run-scoring single by Geraghty Showe in the fourth as Halfway crawled to within 5-3, but Kelly and Williams came on to shut the door.

Kelly tossed 1 1/3 innings and struck out the side in the fifth and Williams finished up in the sixth.

Renn said the strategy to use four pitchers was by design.

"We used the four intentionally thinking each pitcher would show a change in momentum," he said.

Conococheague put the game out of reach with a six-run fifth inning, using four successive walks, a two-run double by Jake Moats and Williams' second blast, a long drive into the seats in left field.

In defeat, Halfway manager Jack Jenkins looked on the positive side heading into Friday.

"I know we'll bounce back," he said. "We were down 4-0 and got it back to 5-3 and that showed me some heart. Mack kept us in the game."

Halfway rolled past Clear Spring 15-1 in its opener but managed only five hits off Conococheague, two by Showe.

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