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Walkersville gets Lions' share over Hubs

May 16, 2009|By CHRISTIAN WORSTELL

WALKERSVILLE, Md. -- The only thing stranger than North Hagerstown's run in the regional tournament was the way it ended on Friday.

The Hubs failed to hold a seventh-inning lead and walked home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to allow Walkersville to claim a 6-5 victory and the Maryland Class 2A West region title.

The loss put an end to the Hubs' improbable postseason run. North entered the postseason at 4-10-1. The regular season included a pair of wins over Walkersville before the run of three straight regional wins to come within three outs of claiming the title.

"I don't even know what to say. We were upset about the regular season when it seemed like things just wouldn't go our way, said North first baseman Miles Trumpower, who belted a first-inning grand slam and drove in all five Hubs runs.

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"We just put our heads down and went to work."

"It was just perseverance and not giving up. We felt like we were close all year," North coach Steve Myers said.

The Lions (12-8) scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth to trim the Hubs' lead to 5-3. With runners on second and third and one out, pinch-hitter Ricky Pardo's slapped a two-run single up the middle to tie the game.

The Lions, who left runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth, led off the 10th with No. 9 hitter Allan Essler singling to left off pitcher Greg Lynn. Collin Mummert followed with a single to center and Eric Walker was hit by a pitch -- the sixth hit batsmen of the game -- to load the bases.

Conner Spessard relieved Lynn as the Hubs' fifth pitcher of the game and walked Joey Zuniga on four pitches to force in the winning run.

"I thought we were in a good spot with three outs left," Myers said. "We just didn't get it done."

Trumpower came up with the bases loaded in the first and sent the first pitch he saw over the 350-foot sign in left-center field for the first and only home run of his high school career.

"Coach told me to be patient and wait until I see a couple of strikes before I go at it," said the senior. "But I liked the first-pitch fastball."

After the Lions burned through two pitchers in the first inning, Zuniga took over in the second and was unhittable. The southpaw struck out 15 of the 23 batters he faced with a devastating curveball before being lifted in the ninth for eventual winner Greg Dayhoff.

"It shows the kind of character these guys have," Walkersville coach Jeremy Long said. "We don't ever quit. We were 0-2 against them (in the regular season). The third time's a charm."

Walkersville 6North Hagerstown 5
North 410 000 000 0 --5 4 2
Walkersville 110 001 200 1 --6 6 1

Carpenter, Stoner (6), Barron (7), Lynn (8), Spessard (10) and Allen. Pelletier, Mummert (1), Zuniga (2), Dayhoff (9) and Walker. WP -- Walker. LP -- Lynn. HR -- NH: Trumpower (1st, 3 on).

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