Conococheague wins on Shoop's walk-off HR

July 09, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

CHEWSVILLE -- The beauty of a pitch is in the eye of the beholder.

For Sinjin Shoop, it doesn't matter what Conococheague manager Mike Iseminger or the Valley All-Stars think, a letter-high pitch was the most gorgeous thing he'd ever seen.

Shoop connected with a slightly elevated pitch and blasted it over the fence in left-center field in the bottom of the sixth for a decisive three-run home run Thursday to lift Conococheague to a 7-4 victory in the winners' bracket second round of the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament.

"Aww, it was all right," said Sinjin while motioning that Timmy Hartsock's pitch was just above the letters. "I thought it was just going to hit the fence. I just wanted to hit it hard."


It was a tough ending for Valley after rallying back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game with a run in the top of the sixth.

"I'd rather lose that way than on an error," said Valley manager Tim Hartsock. "Sinjin crushed the ball."

It all broke right for Conococheague, starting with the coin toss to be the home team on the road. And with the victory, it travels to meet Federal on Monday at 6 p.m.

Valley pitcher Josh Miller had a wild start and staked Conococheague to a 4-1 lead after two innings. Timmy Hartsock came on in relief to show Conococheague down until the end.

Colby Byers started the rally by reaching on a one-out error and took third when Riley Arnone rolled into second on a single and an outfield error.

Then Shoop struck on a swing that almost didn't happen on a 1-2 pitch he probably should have let pass, at least by managerial standards.

"I would have rather he stayed off that pitch, but I'm glad he got it," Iseminger said. "I thought about having Sinjin bunt to force the action and score on the throw to first. My coaches talked me out of it."

Conococheague scored three times in the first with the help of an error and three walks. Jordan Buchanan drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in the first run, followed by a passed ball and J.J. Cooper's RBI single.

It became 4-0 on an RBI grounder by Jordan Stonebreaker in the second.

Stonebreaker started for Conococheague and battled through his own wildness to last 4 2/3 innings.

Valley got a run back in the first and another in the third on a pair of Caleb Cardone RBIs. Hunter Martin led off the fourth with a shot to center field to cut the deficit to one.

Valley tied the game in the fourth against reliever Wyatt Scriever as Martin led off with double off Buchanan's leg at third base. After Timmy Hartsock drew a two-out walk, Scriever uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runners, and Martin scored as a throw to third on the play went into left field.

Conococheague finished with six hits -- led by Shoop with two -- in what was considered a battle between the tournament favorites. Martin had two of Valley's six hits.

"Timmy did a good job and is becoming a bulldog on the mound," said Tim Hartsock said. "At this second, this game is bothering these guys, but come tomorrow, they'll be ready."

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