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Clear Spring rallies for win

June 26, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT

CLEAR SPRING -- Beneath dark clouds and rumbles of thunder, the Clear Spring Little League 9-10 All-Stars took a cue from the weather and stormed back from a six-run deficit to defeat Maugansville 10-9 on Friday in the Maryland District 1 tournament.

Trailing 9-3 entering the bottom of the fifth, Clear Spring scored seven runs over the final two innings to win.

"We battled back," said Clear Spring manager Brian Altman. "The kids kept their heads up the whole time."

Maugansville got off on the right foot in the top of the first. Dalton Haupt and Steve Eyler contributed RBI hits, and Haupt came home on a wild pitch for a 3-0 lead.

Down 5-0 in the third, Clear Spring narrowed the gap on Tyler Hill's two-run single down the right-field line. Hunter Mellott scored on a groundout to make it 5-3.

But Maugansville responded with three more runs in the fourth. Brandon Clark came home on a groundout, and Jeremiah Clemmer's two-run single to center increased Maugansville's lead to 8-3.

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Maugansville added a run in the fifth when Jacob Carbaugh scored on a fielder's choice, making it 9-3.

Clear Spring began to chip away in the bottom half of the inning. Two runs scored on Joe Micco's single to close the gap to 9-5.

In the sixth, Clear Spring tied the game at 9 with no outs as four runs scored on three wild pitches and a steal of home.

After a pair of lightning delays threatened to destroy the momentum Clear Spring had built, the team went back to work. After loading the bases on three walks, Micco was hit by a pitch to bring home the winning run.

"It was all heart," said Altman. "With all the delays, I was very happy with the team."

Altman believes the comeback victory is something that will bring his team together.

"This is an excellent group," he said. "I think that coming from behind made them a stronger team."

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