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PONY stars turn on power switch

July 26, 2009

BOARDMAN, Ohio -- Hagerstown manager Steve Berger went with the flow.

The Hagerstown PONY All-Stars washed away the competition.

Hagerstown won three games -- one more than they were required to play -- on Sunday and did it in electrifying fashion to come out of the losers' bracket and win the East Zone West Region title.

Hagerstown defeated Bucks County (Ohio) 16-8 in the losers' bracket final and came back to sweep tournament hosts Tri-T National 16-2, 13-6 in the championship round to claim the championship.

Hagerstown hit 24 home runs in seven games, including 14 in its tripleheader sweep, to convincingly take the title. PONY rules allow for teams to play two games in a day with an option to play more if they like. Berger decided it was a nice day, so let's play three.

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"We were hot," he said. "We were hitting the ball so well and we didn't want to stop."

The decision punches Hagerstown's ticket for the East Zone Tournament, which begins Friday in Brockton, Mass. The four-team, double-elimination tournament will decide who will head to the PONY World Series.

In the final game, Jason Mayles, Aaron Jones and Dylan Dopson combined on a seven-hitter, allowing two earned runs while striking out nine.

Jones hit a grand slam while Logan Appel, Andrew Yacyk and Mayles each homered.

Appel, Yacyk and Charles Cvijanovich had two hits each. Yacyk had three RBIs, while Philip Pietro and Appel drove in two each.

Hagerstown scored five in the second inning and added six runs in the fourth, using four home runs in the onslaught, to knock off Bucks County in the opener. Cvijanovich had five hits, including a homer, and five RBIs to pace Hagerstown.

Mayles, Tyler Byers and Brad Spickler each added homers. Byers and Caleb Shupe combined to allow eight hits while striking out five in the win.

Pietro, Jones and Byers had two hits each. Pietro each drove in a pair of runs.

Jones and Jordy Dickens combined on a one-hitter with seven strikeouts in the championship opener as Hagerstown defeated Tri-T National in five innings by the mercy rule. A seven-run fourth and five-run fifth provided the difference.

Logan Appel had two homers and three RBIs while Byers had two hits, including a grand slam, and five RBIs. Dylan Appel, who had two hits, and Shupe, who drove in two runs, also homered.

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