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Patient Federal waits out National

July 14, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT/Staff Correspondent

When the Federal All-Stars found themselves trailing National after two innings on Tuesday, there was no cause for concern.

Federal stayed the course and got some big hits that propelled it to a 15-3 victory over National in the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament losers' bracket game at Kenneth E. Dudley Field.

Federal hosts Hancock in a losers' bracket game tonight at 6.

National started fast in the top of the first when Jake Boutieller blasted a two-run homer to center for a 2-0 lead that lasted until the third inning.

After going scoreless through the first two innings, Federal finally got some offense going. Cole Conrad tripled to right to bring home one run before Justin Smith hit a two-run home run to center and a 3-2 lead.

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"The third inning was big for us," said Federal manager Dan Dopson. "National got out to a two-run lead with their home run, so it was big for us to come back."

Federal added to its lead in the fourth when Damien Nave hit an RBI single to right. Nave and Isaac House scored on wild pitches to make it 6-3.

Federal kept pouring it on in the fifth. Preston Carey smacked a two-run double down the left-field line before he, Andrew Fiery and Nick Blake came home on wild pitches to give Federal a commanding 11-3 advantage.

"We have a fast bunch of kids," said Dopson. "They always keep their heads up."

Meanwhile, Smith started and held National's lineup in check after allowing the pair of early runs.

"Justin did a great job," said Dopson. "He hit his spots and mixed it up well."

Smith pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and striking out six.

Federal took advantage of more baserunning opportunities in the top of the sixth when Conrad, Phillip Lloyd and Fiery scored on errors. Smith came home on a passed ball to put Federal up 15-2.

National picked up a run in the bottom half of the inning on Josh Walther's home run to left, making it 15-3.

Dopson was pleased with the direction his team is taking after the victory.

"We try to be a smart baseball team," he said. "This is a great bunch of kids who don't quit. We're going to play until they kick us out of here."

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