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Conococheague gets chance to make Federal appeal

July 15, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

WILLIAMSPORT - The Conococheague Little League 11-12 All-Stars needed 45 minutes Monday to finish what they started Sunday.

After taking a 7-2 lead over Maugansville before rain suspended the Maryland District 1 Tournament losers' bracket final in the middle of the third inning Sunday, Conococheague put the finishing touches on its 12-2 victory with a five-run fifth to win by the 10-run rule.

"This is the first time in the tournament all 13 of them showed up to play," Conococheague manager Mike Renn said. "They were very patient at the plate and swung at good pitches. It was a total team effort."

Sinjin Shoop led off the fifth inning with a double to right that Maugansville right fielder Matt Breakall nearly made a spectacular leaping catch on, only to have the ball bounce out in a moment of bad luck.

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Sterling Christy followed with a walk before Jake Moats - who hit two home runs and drove in four runs in the first two innings Sunday - laced an RBI single through the hole at short to score Shoop to make it 8-2.

Nick Williams' RBI single off the third base bag scored Christy to make it 9-2. With one out, Jordan Stonebreaker walked to load the bases, Riley Arnone drove in Moats with a groundout to first and Brandon Iseminger hit a two-run single down the left field line to score Williams and Stonebreaker to make it 12-2.

Jack Kelly came on to pitch for Conococheague with one out in the bottom0 of the third inning, and retired seven straight - four on strikeouts - before Derek Herbert singled off the first base bag with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Herbert tried to stretch the hit into a double and was thrown out to end the game.

"Jack's been sharp throughout the tournament when we've needed him," Renn said. "He kept it down in the zone, and that's what you need to do against a good hitting team like Maugansville."

"They're a great hitting team, and they've got some good pitching, too," Maugansville manager Rich Montgomery said. "(Our) guys played a long way through the losers' bracket, they put everything they had into it and I'm proud of them and where they finished. We beat a lot of good teams in this district."

Conococheague will travel to Federal for the championship round today at 6 p.m. Federal needs one win to claim the title, while Conococheague must win to extend the tournament to a final game at home Wednesday.

Federal defeated Conococheague 16-5 in the winners' bracket final on Thursday.

"We're going to have to hit the ball, be patient and make them throw strikes and hit them," Renn said. "We have to play a fundamentally sound game. If we do that, we'll be fine."

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