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Conococheague wins 9-10 district title

July 06, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT/Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT -- Throughout the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament, the Conococheague All-Stars overpowered their opponents with relentless offense.

Conococheague stuck with that winning formula Monday, defeating Hancock 17-3 in the Maryland District 1 9-10 final at Ebersole Field.

Conococheague will play in the Maryland state tournament, beginning July 18 in Salisbury, Md.

"We did the same thing we've done all year," said Conococheague manager Mick Byers, whose team averaged 14 runs per game in its five tourney wins. "We came out on top and never looked back."

Hancock looked as if it would jump out to an early lead after starting the top of the first with a single and double, but two strikeouts and a groundout ended the inning.

Conococheague opened the scoring in the bottom of the first on Jake Arnone's run-scoring double. After Arnone scored on a wild pitch, Caden Keplinger hit an RBI sacrifice fly to right field. Gage Kyler followed with a two-run home run to left-center field to give Conococheague a 5-0 lead.

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Conococheague came back for more in the second. Keplinger's single to right scored one before bases loaded walks drawn by Kyler and Trevor Knode brought two more runs home. Keplinger came home on a wild pitch and Kyler scored on an error to make it 10-0.

Hancock finally got on the board in the top of the third. Brady Norris doubled to left to score two before another run came in on an error, cutting the Conococheague lead to 10-3.

Conococheague put the icing on the cake in the bottom of the third. RBI singles by Hunter Ostrum and Keplinger scored two runs, and Knode's double to right brought home two more. After Knode scored on an error, hits by Robert Carr and Arnone plated two more runs to give Conococheague a 17-3 advantage.

"The kids did their jobs," said Byers. "We got the runs we needed to stay on top and bury them."

The game ended after 3 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.

Hancock left the bases loaded in each of the last three innings, stranding 11 runners in the game.

"Our pitchers struggled a little bit, but they came back to get outs," said Byers. "Hancock had runners on, but we were able to strand them."

For Byers, seeing his team raise the Maryland District 1 championship banner is the prize for all the time his team spent working to get better.

"They deserve it," Byers said. "They put in a lot of hard work, and this is the reward for that."

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