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Hancock gives Conococheague another shot at District 1 title

July 11, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT /Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK -- After rain soaked Kirk Woods Park prior to Saturday's Maryland District 1 Junior Tournament championship round game between Conococheague and Hancock, both teams wondered about the condition of the field.

As it turned out, the sloppiest part of the game turned out to be the defense.

In a game in which the number of hits equalled the number of errors, Conococheague came from behind to defeat Hancock 8-6 and force a final game to decide the district champion.

"With kids, these things happen," said Conococheague manager Jamie Martin. "It's just important to try and not let it shake you up."

Hancock opened the scoring in the bottom of the second without producing any hits. Tyler Trail stole home before a throwing error allowed Chad Sipe to score. Donnie O'Brien and Jordan Clingerman scored on two more errors to give Hancock a 4-0 lead.

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"We made errors early, but we didn't let them hurt us," said Martin.

Conococheague picked up a run in the top of the third when T.J. Boyer scored on Tyler Martin's sacrifice fly to center, making it 4-1.

But the game turned in the top of the fifth when Conococheague capitalized on several Hancock mistakes. Tristan Baker scored on an infield error and Alex Miller advanced home on a missed catch in the outfield. A wild pitch allowed Brandon Toloso to score and Nick Williams hit an RBI single to give Conococheague a 5-4 advantage.

Conococheague added to its lead in the top of the sixth. Greg Miller's single to right scored Matt Hassler before two more runs came in on an outfield error to make it 8-4.

Hancock cut the deficit to 8-6 in the bottom half of the inning when Ben True and O'Brien each scored on an infield error.

But after Hancock's Braydon Litton walked to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, Conococheague's Toloso got a pair of flyouts and a strikeout to end the game.

"The kids that pitched tonight for us trusted their stuff," said Martin. "They stuck with it."

In a game characterized by mistakes, Martin was proud of his team for overcoming the obstacles to pull out a win.

"We hung in there and did what we had to do," he said. "Each and every kid did their job."

Conococheague hosts Hancock for the district title today at 5:30 p.m.

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