Conococheague has it all come true for win

July 02, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE/

If it's possible, Concococheague's 9-10 all-star team may have been near perfect on Thursday night.

It was a manager's dream and fan's delight -- for the winners -- with timely hitting and superb defense and pitching.

The result was a 12-0 victory over Hancock in the winner's bracket final of the Maryland District 1 Tournament and a couple of days off.

"You get Friday and Saturday off and then we'll come back and practice Sunday and keep bustin' our butts," manager Mike Byers told his troops after the four-inning victory.


"That was a darn good team, the best in the district," said Hancock manager Brian Rider. "We knew they were good."

Breaking down apsects:

DEFENSE -- Left fielder Trevor Knode set the tone with a running catch of a ball hit by Hancock's Taylor Kerns to open the game. Justin Beckley followed with a nice catch on a fly ball to right by Zack Clark.

In the second inning Zack Carpenter looked like Brooks Robinson at third base with back-to-back fielding plays.

In the fourth, Knode made another highlight catch on a ball off the bat of Carl Potter.

"We stressed the importance of playing good defense because we knew Hancock could put the bat on the ball," said Byers. "We won with defense tonight."

OFFENSE -- Hancock pitcher Tyler Clingerman held Conococheague to one run in two innings, allowing a run-scoring single to Isaac Schlotterbeck in the first inning.

With a 1-0 lead, Conococheague broke loose for three runs in the third on a run-scoring single by Jake Arnone and Schlotterbeck's two-run blast to the hill in center field for a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Conococheague laid down the hammer with an eight-run blitzkreig as Carpenter started things with a one-out single.

After a fielding error, Arnone smacked a first-pitch home run to left field for a 7-0 lead. By the time the damage was done on a two-run single by Carpenter, the lead swelled to 12-0.

"If one player doesn't hit, another does," said Byers. "It's contagious."

PITCHING -- Caden Keplinger, the third pitcher on the Conococheague rostrum, did his part with four shutout innings covering 56 pitches.

He allowed three hits, walked two and struck out two and only in the fourth inning did Hancock get more than one runner on base at a time.

"He's our No. 3 pitcher and I asked him to just go out there and throw strikes and that's what (Caden) did," said Byers.

Arnone, Schlotterbeck, Carpenter and Robert Carr had two hits each in Conococheague's 11-hit attack. Arnone ended with four RBIs and scored three runs.

Clingerman had two of Hancock's three hits.

Conococheague is idle until Monday when it hosts an undetermined opponent out of the losers' bracket.

"I think it's going to be tough for someone to come in and beat us twice," said Byers.

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