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Outburst -- Conococheague flattens West End

July 14, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

For a few fleeting moments, it looked like everyone was in for a pretty good winners' bracket final in the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament on Tuesday.

Conococheague and West End were in a 2-2 tie heading to the bottom of the second inning.

Soon, there was no need for a bottom of the fourth inning.

Conococheague scored five runs in the second and then scored 15 times -- sending a whopping 20 batters to the plate -- in the third to post a 22-2 victory.

Conococheague will seek to win its first District 1 crown since 1974 at home on Friday against an undetermined opponent. It could be West End, which falls into the losers' bracket final, hosting either Federal or Hancock on Thursday.

"I'm speechless," said Conococheague manager Mike Iseminger. "The baseball god's have been on our side."

West End spotted Conococheague two runs without a hit in the first as starting pitcher Christian Archie hit two batters and walked two.

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But West End came back in the top of the second against Jordan Stonebreaker on two walks, two wild pitches and a run-scoring single by Archie.

Then the dam began to crack and Conococheague started moving right through with some help.

A throwing error and fielding error by West End opened the inning to set up C.J. Henson's two-run double to give Conococheague a 7-2 lead.

"I was happy we got out of the first inning giving up only two runs," said West End manager Bill Nutter. "But we had to play flawless against them and those errors opened the floodgates."

West End went through four pitchers following Archie and none could put down enough sandbags to stop the flood.

Michael Kelbaugh doubled, Riley Arnone singled, Sinjin Shoop walked, Stonebreaker singled and Jordan Buchanan walked and it was 9-2 with the bases loaded -- and Conococheague had yet to hit a home run.

Well, four of them were about to come, starting with a massive grand slam by Wyatt Scriever.

Arnone had a two-run single, Shoop had a two-run home run, Stonebreaker followed with a solo homer, Buchanan walked and Scriever then sent a blast into the median strip on Route 40 for a 20-2 lead.

"I'm not looking to hit home runs," said Scriever. "I'm just relaxed trying to hit the ball hard and make something happen."

Scriever ended with three hits and seven RBIs as Conococheague totaled 16 hits along with seven walks and three hit batsmen.

"We just don't swing at bad pitches," said Iseminger. "Those two plays in the second inning helped get us going and got us relaxed. Then we kept them under pressure."

Stonebreaker struck out nine in his four innings of work, allowed two hits and walked three for Conococheague.

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