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W. Salisbury stakes claim to victory over Hancock Juniors

July 27, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

MAUGANSVILLE -- At least Hancock had the good feeling of qualifying for the Maryland State Junior League Tournament.

Hancock's quick turnaround into the losers' bracket didn't come out any better on Monday after its opening 10-0 loss to Thurmont a day earlier. It didn't take long to realize the end was near.

West Salisbury pummeled Hancock for nine runs in the first inning and went on to a 17-1 victory in 4 1/2 innings at Maugansville. That eliminated Hancock and moved West Salisbury into a key matchup against Elkton, an easy winner over South Baltimore, tonight at 5:30.

West Salisbury has six tournament-tested players on its roster from the 11-12 team that made it to the Little League World Series two years ago.

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In the opening round, West Salisbury let a 5-1 lead escape and made some errors to allow Elkton to turn it into a 15-6 victory.

"We've got kids that have played a lot of travel ball and we came in here prepared to play," said manager Chris Yingling. "We've got some big boys and now we're ready for the rematch with Elkton."

Hancock starter Nathan Koontz couldn't get West Salisbury to hit the ball at his defense to begin the game.

Koontz allowed five singles, four leaking through holes in the infield, and didn't record an out until he struck out No. 9 batter Ryan Boyce.

"You can't do much about that," said Hancock manager Dennis Douglas of West Salisbury's early penchant for finding the holes. "They have some talent out there."

West Salisbury starting pitcher Ryan Cahall, all 6-foot-2 of him, went the first inning with the big lead before being pulled after 34 pitches. The move allows him to pitch tonight.

Three other pitchers finished off Hancock, allowing only three hits -- two by Ben True, one helped produce Hancock's lone run of the tournament.

Cody Trunkle was hit by a pitch, went to third on a roped double to left by True and scored on a wild pitch.

Koontz had Hancock's only other hit.

"When we hit the ball, for us it was right at someone," said Douglas. "Bottom line, we just got outhit."

Hancock batters also struck out eight times, four by Mark Waguespack in two innings of relief.

West Salisbury scored three runs in the second, two coming on a mammoth home run to center field by catcher Nick Wiggins. It added two more in the third without a base hit and three more runs in the fourth.

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