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Conococheague's drought over

July 17, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

o Slide show

Wyatt Scriever threw the first pitch of the game and hit the last pitch.

The lanky 12-year-old right-hander struck out nine in 3 2/3 innings and delivered the final blow in the bottom of the fifth inning to give Conococheague a 12-2 victory over West End and the Maryland District 1 11-12 championship, its first since 1974.

Conococheague will play in the state tournament beginning July 25 at 1 p.m., against an opponent to be determined at Stetham Park in Waldorf.

"I always knew we'd score runs," said Conococheague manager Mike Iseminger. "Tonight, we took advantage of some opportunities and then hit the home runs late."

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Conococheague went through the tournament unbeaten, including a 22-2 thrashing of West End last Tuesday, but didn't put away the pesky losers' bracket survivors until late.

Sinjin Shoop and Jordan Stonebreaker hit back-to-back home runs off reliever Grimmie Randolph in the fifth. Shoop's shot was a "Plinko" fly ball that fell perfectly between the brick wall in left and the fence, zig-zagging to the ground.

West End manager Billy Nutter brought in Dylan Bickford and he walked Jordan Buchanan, who went to second on a passed ball and scored the clinching run on a single up the middle by Scriever to reach the 10-run limit.

"That's a really nice team with experience, depth and pitching," said Nutter of Conococheague.

West End took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Scriever struck out the first two batters.

Airin Martin made his presence felt with a towering home run on a 2-2 pitch to center. Bubba Snodderly followed with a single for what would be West End's second of three hits in the game.

Cody Reeder connected against Scriever for a solo homer in the second inning, but that was after Conococheague put five on the board in the bottom of the first.

Riley Arnone, Shoop and Stonebreaker began the bottom of the first with singles against Christian Archie for a 1-1 tie. Buchanan then sent a grounder to short that Martin couldn't handle and two runs scored for a 3-1 lead.

After West End got its first out, Conococheague produced two more runs. J.J. Cooper grounded out to third with Buchanan scoring from third, and Scriever hustled around to score on a throwing error from first base.

"Those two errors were costly right away," said Nutter. "We got the next two batters and could have kept them at three runs."

Two walks, three wild pitches, an RBI single by Stonebreaker and an error were the ingredients for three more runs in the second inning and an 8-2 Conococheague lead. Two West End errors, an infield hit and a walk gave Conococheague a run in the third.

Except for the two home runs, Scriever was in control through through three innings. He may hve been hampered by a slight cut on his right index finger that led to three walks in the fourth inning. But West End did not score when Arnone came in for 1 1/3 innings of relief work.

"I might have been aiming and trying to pick the corner, but I just wanted to go out and do the best I could do," said Scriever, who worked from the stretch position.

"I thought (Wyatt) threw the ball real well and mixed up his pitches," said Iseminger.

Arnone and Shoop each had two hits and Stonebreaker went 3-for-3 with a walk, scoring three runs and driving in three runs.

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