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Sauble's slam slams door for Maugansville

July 13, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

CHEWSVILLE - Justin Sauble made sure his first hit of the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament topped the charts.

It had a platinum impact on the rest of the Maugansville All-Stars.

Sauble delivered a grand slam - his first hit as an all-star - to ignite Maugansville to a 10-run fourth inning, which led to a 12-4 victory over Valley in losers' bracket action.

Maugansville, which needs just one more win to advance to the tournament championship round, plays Conococheague today at 5 p.m. in the losers' bracket final.

"My mom told me it was going to be my lucky day today," Sauble said. "It was."

Sauble's luck meant misfortune for Valley, which held a 4-1 lead until the fourth.

John Britton led off with an infield hit and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one out. Sauble - in his first at bat off the bench - skied the fourth Josh Miller pitch over the right-field fence for a 5-4 lead.

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"Justin was due for that and it couldn't have come at a better time," said Maugansville coach Rich Montgomery. "He was one of the subs - and he has been a little bit down - so he needed that."

Sauble's slam forced Miller's exit in favor of Brandon Butrick, but the results were no different against the hot Maugansville bats.

Derek Herbert hit a run-scoring double and Britton singled for his second hit in the inning, driving in two more runs for a 8-4 lead. After another base hit, Brandon Haupt sent a three-run bomb over the center-field fence for an 11-4 edge.

Herbert doubled once again in the sixth and scored on an error, ending Valley's four-game run through the losers' bracket.

"The kids were having a lot of fun and I thought it could carry us," said Valley coach Tim Hartsock. "Take that big inning away and it's a heck of a game."

Valley appeared to have the hungrier team through the first half of the game, started by Quentin Zimmerman, who caught up with a Britton fastball with one out in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1.

Bryan Tracey followed with a two-run homer to center field and Zimmerman added an RBI double in the second inning for his second of three hits for a 4-1 Valley advantage.

Maugansville had been set back on its heels as Miller allowed only one hit through three innings.

"I was a little surprised in the first couple innings," Montgomery said. "We have a really good hitting team and I thought we would come out and hit."

The delayed response was in time to help out Britton, who settled in and retired 9 of 11 batters before reaching his pitch limit with two outs in the sixth.

Britton scattered five hits and struck out seven.

"John Britton is a heck of a pitcher," Hartsock said. "I didn't think we would get much more off him. I've seen him enough times to know you can't rattle him."

Taylor Shank and Sauble combined for the last four outs of the game to send Maugansville to Williamsport today.

"These boys love to play ball," Montgomery said, "and they don't want to go home."

Britton finished with three hits. he and Herbert finished with two RBI each.

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