Sharpsburg has the heart to beat National

July 09, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT/Staff Correspondent

SHARPSBURG -- In a close game, the intangibles often outweigh sheer talent and skill.

The Sharpsburg All-Stars showed desire, taking a late lead and hanging on to defeat National 7-5 on Thursday in the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament at Sharpsburg Little League.

"The kids showed tremendous heart," said Sharpsburg manager Ronnie Stewart. "They kept fighting and made all the plays they needed to make."

National used aggressive baserunning to take a lead in the top of the first. Isaiah Frye scored on a steal of home and Jake Boutieller came home on a throwing error to make it 2-0.


Sharpsburg evened the score in the bottom of the inning. Ashton Binkley's triple to right brought home one run, and Adam McDonald's RBI single to right tied the game at 2.

"After they scored, we were able to come right back and answer," said Stewart.

Sharpsburg took the lead in the third on Binkley's sacrifice fly to center. Dalton Stewart scored on an error to give Sharpsburg a 4-2 lead.

National responded in the fourth. Jordan Luna advanced home on an error and Austin Socks scored on a groundout to tie the game at 4.

But Sharpsburg kept grinding and broke the tie in the fifth. Binkley came up with his third RBI of the game, singling to right to give his team a 5-4 lead.

"It felt good with my team cheering me on," said Binkley. "I try to strive for the best and do well."

Later in the inning, Zane Blickenstaff hit an RBI single and scored on an error to increase Sharpsburg's lead to 7-4.

"In the bottom of the fifth, we had several clutch hits," said Stewart. "We needed every run we could get there."

National did not go down easily in the top of the sixth. Jeff Bennett scored on an error to cut Sharpsburg's lead to 7-5, before National loaded the bases with two outs. But a groundout to shortstop ended the game.

Sharpsburg will travel to face West End in a winners' bracket game on Monday at 6 p.m. National plays at American tonight at 6.

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