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Hancock scores early, often against Federal

July 04, 2009

HANCOCK -- Hancock Little League 9-10 All-Stars manager Brian Rider knew all about Federal Little League's ability to rally, as Federal proved in two Maryland District 1 Tournament losers' bracket victories over Halfway and National.

"Federal doesn't appear to quit," Rider said. "They keep battling and battling so we needed to score as many runs as we could and put them away as early as we could."

Rider's players were up to the task. By the time Federal came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, Hancock had a 17-5 lead, and Federal's trademark late surge was not enough as Hancock won the losers' bracket final 17-11 on Saturday.

"We definitely hit the ball," Rider said. "I was tickled to death with how we hit the ball today."

Hancock will travel to Williamsport to face unbeaten Conococheague on Monday at 6 p.m. Hancock will have to beat Conococheague twice to win the district title -- if Hancock wins Monday, it will host the final game Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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"For us to beat them, we've got to hit the ball like we did today and we've got to play flawless defense," Rider said. "They're going to hit the ball, there's not a team in the state that's going to keep them from hitting the ball, we can't make errors that turn one run into three or four. It's gonna be tough, they're there for a reason. We've got to be darn near perfect."

Hancock took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Jared Cubbage's RBI single and Jared Hose's two-run double. Federal answered with two runs in the bottom half. Myles Nicholson was hit by a pitch, Nathan Kline singled and Brady Munson hit a two-run single.

Hancock made it 6-2 in the top of the second with the help of five walks and an error. Tyler Clingerman's two-run single was the big hit.

Federal cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the second. Bryant Shives singled and scored with the help of two errors.

Hancock opened it up with three runs in the third and four more in the fourth for a 13-3 lead.

In the third, Taylor Kerns singled and Zack Clark launched a two-run homer before Cubbage doubled and Brady Norris hit an RBI single.

In the fourth, Chris Wagner singled, Kerns walked, Clark hit an RBI single, Clingerman followed with a two-run double and two errors brought in the last run.

Federal scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 13-5. Shives walked, Nicholson singled, Kline drove in a run with a single and Malik Carey hit an RBI double.

Hancock answered in the fifth with its final four runs. The key hits were Clark's RBI single, Cubbage's two-run double and Clingerman's RBI single.

Federal scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth with the help of three errors and a walk. Nicholson hit a two-run double. Nicholson's RBI double capped Federal's two-run sixth, but it wasn't enough.

Hose struck out nine in 4 1/3 innings, and Cubbage struck out four in 1 2/3 innings for Hancock.

"They both did an excellent job," Rider said. "They did what we needed them to do."

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