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Barvinchack attack

Slugger's 2 homers power Federal Little League to Maryland state title

Slugger's 2 homers power Federal Little League to Maryland state title

August 07, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

EASTON, Md. -- With one mighty swing, Crosse Barvinchack put Federal Little League's 11-12 All-Stars on the path to the Maryland State Tournament championship.

And the mighty swings just kept on coming for Barvinchack and Federal.

Displaying the kind of jaw-dropping power that has highlighted Federal's run through district and state tournament play, Barvinchack hit two home runs and Josh Moats and Dalton Jobe got in on the act as Federal defeated Easton 9-1 for the state championship Friday night at the North Easton Sports Complex.

"They were fastballs, and they were both on two-ball counts," Barvinchack said. "I knew once (the count) got to two balls, I could wait for the fastball, and when I got it, I hit it hard."

"He's our Jekyll and Hyde," Federal manager Bill Abeles said of Barvinchack. "He'll hit a ball into the parking lot, then look awful striking out. I'm tickled for him to hit two home runs."

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Federal won Washington County's first 11-12 state title since American Little League did it in 1990. Federal advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Conn., beginning Thursday. The winner of the regional tournament will advance to the Little League World Series.

After a scoreless first inning, Barvinchack led off the second by driving Dallas Bonner's 2-1 pitch a good 50 feet past the fence to right center. It served as the spark plug for Federal's potent offense.

"We just went nuts when that happened," Barvinchack said. "Once we had that first run, we wanted to keep going and win every inning."

Josh Barron followed the homer with a walk and advanced to second and third on two sacrifice bunts. Mark Grunberg chopped a high pitch into center field to score Barron, before Andrew Yacyk smashed a liner into the left-field corner for a double, advancing Grunberg to third. Grunberg then scored on a high wild pitch -- on what was supposed to be an intentional ball -- for a 3-0 lead.

Jobe led off the third with an opposite-field double to right center, and one out later, Barvinchack crushed another fastball to center for a two-run shot and a 5-0 lead.

Federal erased most of what little remaining suspense there was with Josh Moats' three-run shot off reliever Tayvon Blake for an 8-0 lead in the fourth.

"It felt pretty cool," Moats said. "I was coming off two pop-ups, and hitting the home run gave us a bigger lead. After that, I did feel pretty confident we would win."

"It feels awesome to be representing Maryland in the regional tournament," Moats said.

Easton scored its run in the bottom of the fourth on three singles -- by Shyeim Washington, Caleb Bryan and Bonner, who went 3-for-3 -- and the help of a Federal error.

Jobe then finished the scoring with a long blast to center leading off the sixth. It was the last of Federal's 12 hits and the cap on Jobe's 3-for-4 game that included two doubles.

Zane Schreiber earned the win on the mound with 4 1/3 solid innings, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out seven. Easton had runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings, but Schreiber got the key outs when needed -- including a sterling bare-handed grab and throw to first to retire Ryan Anthony and end the third -- to keep Easton at bay.

"I just did the best I could," Schreiber said. "I don't worry as a pitcher, I know I have a good defense, and the offense, they scored nine runs against a good team."

"He's a winner," Abeles said. "He just battles on the mound. He's a heck of a pitcher."

Barron came on in relief and retired all five hitters he faced, four on strikeouts. Yacyk finished with two hits.

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