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Bracket final has contrast

July 15, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

Hancock and West End have the common thread of looking for victory tonight in the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament losers' bracket final at West End beginning at 6.

There's no putting the cart before the horse.

Before thinking about Friday's championship round against Conococheague, Hancock and West End arrive at the losers' bracket final from opposite ends.

Hancock is coming off an 11-2 win over Federal on Wednesday, while West End looks to rebound from a crushing 22-2 loss to Conococheague in the winners' bracket final on Tuesday.

The ingredients are simple for both teams.

"We just want to come out and put the bat on the ball, make them make plays and our defense make the plays," said Hancock manager Dennis Douglas. "I've got two pitchers in mind so I'm not sure who will start but I know we'll come out and play defense."

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Hancock has had the longer road to travel after a second-round loss to Federal. Hancock followed that up with wins over Halfway, Valley, Sharpsburg and Federal to get into tonight's position.

Everyone might expect West End manager Bill Nutter to start ace Airin Martin, but Nutter wasn't sure of the starting nod.

"We might not start Airin, but I know we can't look past Hancock," said Nutter. "I know them as 10-year-olds and I know they play solid defense. They are scrappy and we won't take anyone for granted."

West End had only two hits in the loss to Conococheague and only two hits in a 7-2 win over Halfway to open the tournament. Otherwise West End has posted a 16-5 win over Maugansville and a 13-3 victory over Sharpsburg.

"We haven't swung the bat real well, but we have to because we're just going to keep seeing better pitching," said Nutter.

The winner will get a spot in Friday's championship round game and would need to beat Conococheague twice. A win Friday would force a final game on Saturday.

Carter to step down

Maryland District Administrator Rick Carter will step aside at the end of this season following three years at the helm. In various capacities, Carter has been involved with Little League for 34 years.

Larry Hammond will step in and take over the reigns.

"It's all about the kids," said Carter. "I have a tough time with parents' names but I never forget the kids' names. I'm just happy to have opportunities to have an effect on the lives of some kids. The toughest part of being a DA is not being able to work directly with the kids."

Carter is leaving the post in good hands.

"I can't think of a better person than Larry," he said.

Future tournaments

Washington County will host two Little League tournaments in 2010 and one in 2011.

Based on district rotation, the Maryland State 9-10 Tournament will be held locally. In addition, the Little League 10-11 Division will come to Washington County.

In 2011, Washington County will host the 11-12 state tournament.

"Who the hosts are depends on who wants it," said Carter.

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