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Colt 'C' stars play 'A' game in first round

July 19, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

The Hagerstown Colt League 'C' All-Stars will gladly let the Hagerstown 'A' and 'B' teams handle the pressure of expectations at this weekend's East Zone West Region sectional tournament at Hellane Park.

The 'C' squad is happy playing the role of spoiler.

"We don't have a lot of pressure. We always try to play up the role of underdog," said Hagerstown 'C' manager Brian McLucas, who has managed the 'C' team eight of the past 10 years. "And it's worked before -- we won this two years ago. This is the best group of kids we've had on the 'C' team in my time."

Hagerstown 'C' racked up 16 hits and overwhelmed Anne Arundel 14-5 in a first-round game Friday afternoon. With the win, Hagerstown 'C' advanced all the way to the winners' bracket final in the five-team, double-elimination tournament.

Chambersburg beat Hagerstown 'B' 10-5 in the second game and will face Hagerstown 'A' today in the winners' bracket semifinal.

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Hagerstown 'C,' playing as the visitors, scored four runs in both the first and second innings to race to an 8-0 lead against Anne Arundel. In the first, Chaney Lum, Jon Weinberg and Jake Lichtenburg each hit RBI singles and Kenny Kitchen drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. In the second, Kitchen hit an RBI single and Lichtenburg cleared the bases with a three-run double.

Anne Arundel scored a run in the second on a Hagerstown 'C' error and added two more in the third on two walks and three hit batsmen. Hagerstown scored a run in the third on Cody Dillow's RBI infield single, and plated three more in the fourth on Matt Braithwaite's RBI infield single and Mike Braithwaite's two-run double into the left-field corner.

Anne Arundel cut the lead to 12-5 in the sixth on with the help of three Hagerstown 'C' errors, before Hagerstown capped the scoring in the seventh on Lichtenburg's two-run double, which put the cap on his 4-for-4, six-RBI night.

"We just want to swing at good strikes and hit line drives. We don't have a lot of power, we want to hit line drives in the gaps," McLucas said. "(Lichtenburg) had a huge game. He's one of three 16-year-olds we have. He hit the ball well all week in practice."

McLucas used three pitchers -- Dillow, Nick Lum and Jeremy Hardy -- and kept all of them to three innings or less, making all of them eligible to pitch in tonight's winner's bracket final.

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