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Hagerstown PONY team wins World Series opener

August 11, 2008|By JOE TUSCANO / Washington Observer-Reporter

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- For at least the first two innings, everything played out the way the Washington All-Stars had hoped in their Pony League World Series opener Sunday night.

Washington jumped out to a quick lead and right-handed pitcher Eric Richards allowed only one walk after facing the first seven batters.

But Hagerstown erupted for seven runs in the third inning, scored five in the fifth and four in the sixth to breeze to a 16-6 victory in six innings at Lew Hays Pony Field.

Washington, which had won its last five openers in the series, faces Tamiani (Fla.) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Hagerstown meets Long Beach (Calif.) in the 8 p.m. game.

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"The second time around (the order) we started to relax," said Hagerstown manager Steve Berger. "We were a little nervous at first. This is the world series and it's a big deal. But we hit the ball well in all the tournaments it took us to get here."

Hagerstown had to rally twice in those tournaments, each time against Chambersburg.

"We trailed 6-0 and 8-0 against them and came back to win," Berger said. "It seemed like we're always down early. I hope that doesn't continue."

Jake Bachtell had a three-run home run, Dylan Ianaro had three RBI and Aaron Stoner two to pace Hagerstown's offense. Jason Poland drove in three runs for Washington.

"We thought we had a good chance to beat them," said Washington manager Barry Sachek. "But we threw the ball away a couple times and we gave up runs with two outs."

Richards was knocked from the game in the fifth inning after taking a line drive from Aaron Dinterman off his foot. He was on the ground for several minutes and had to be carried off by his teammates. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Washington held the 2-0 lead until the third inning, when Hagerstown sent 11 players to the plate and scored seven times to take a 7-2 lead.

What the made the inning remarkable is that Hagerstown began the rally with two outs in the inning.

After Ianaro struck out and Seth Hall popped to first, Chris Kiley and Aaron Stoner each walked. Deshong singled in Kiley and Dinterman doubled in Stoner to tie the game, 2-2. Bachtell then sent an Eric Richards fastball over the center field fence for a three-run home run that gave Hagerstown a 5-2 lead.

Richards walked Austin Yost, who promptly stole second and third while Zach Schreiber was batting. That's when Hagerstown caught a break.

Richards struck out Schreiber but Washington catcher Jacob Nicolella dropped the ball. Schreiber broke for first and Yost broke for home.

Nicolella could have ended the inning by throwing the ball to first base to get Schreiber but decided to run Yost back to third base.

During the rundown attempt, Schreiber made it to second base. Ianaro then doubled down the left field line to score Yost and Schreiber to make it 7-2.

Hagerstown belted five hits in the fifth and took advantage of Washington error to score two runs. Deshong drove in two more with a single.

Aaron Stoner smacked a two-run single to center to pace Hagerstown's four-run sixth inning that put the game away.

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