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Hagerstown reaches end of PONY road

August 02, 2009|By JAY N. MILLER / Special to The Herald-Mail

BROCKTON, Mass. -- The Hagerstown PONY League 14 All-Stars' quest to return to the championship round of the East Zone tournament ended early Sunday morning, as an eight-run first inning by Chesterfield, Va., proved too much to overcome. Chesterfield won 16-9, eliminating Hagerstown from the double-elimination tournament at Gilbert Walker Playground.

New Bedford finished its undefeated run through the East Zone by defeating Chesterfield 10-7 later Sunday for a berth in the PONY World Series.   

Hagerstown starter Dylan Dopson never found his groove, facing 10 batters and only retiring two. When Dopson's control problems and his teammates' fielding jitters were overcome, Chesterfield's hitters simply zeroed in.

Dopson allowed three hits, three walks, hit a batter, and was victimized by two errors and a pair of stolen bases. When Chesterfield leadoff hitter Skylor Genovese -- who opened the game with a single -- chased Dopson with a two-run triple down the right-field line, Jordan Dickens came on in relief and Chesterfield shortstop Stephen Cornett greeted him with another triple to right before the side was retired.

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Dickens pitched three more innings, allowing just two runs, but by then plenty of damage had already been done.

"I expected our big boy to come out today and throw peas," said Hagerstown manager Steve Berger. "But he didn't have it, and I may have left him in there a tad too long. Jordie came in and did a tremendous job for us, holding them at bay, but that's a lot to come back from. Usually you would think if you score nine runs, you'll win the ballgame, but we couldn't ever catch up. Our defense also let us down today, so you have to say we lost as a team."

Hagerstown mounted a rally in the bottom of the first. Chesterfield starter Jake Stephens walked the leadoff man and yielded a double to Charles Cvijanovich and a two-run single to Andrew Yacyk. Genovese came in to relieve, and after a walk and an out, Tyler Byers rapped a two-run single. After another walk and the second out, Brad Spickler plated Byers with a single to right to close the gap to 8-5.

In the second, Chesterfield brought in Corey Ambers to pitch, and he held Hagerstown to just three hits over the final six innings. Hagerstown squeezed out four runs, helped by three Chesterfield errors, but Ambers prevented any game-changing rallies.         

Chesterfield touched up Dickens for a pair of runs in the third. Aaron Akers led off with a double to left, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on a Genovese single. Cornett then doubled to right center to score Genovese for a 10-5 advantage.

Hagerstown got two runs back in the bottom of the third. Dickens reached on an infield error and scored on another infield error. Cvijanovich reached on a fielder's choice, moved up when Yacyk was hit by a pitch and scored on Phil Pietro's single up the middle, narrowing the gap to 10-7.

Chesterfield added two runs when Aaron Jones took over on the mound for Hagerstown in the fifth. Alex Dabney led off with a single, stole second and eventually scored on Ambers' groundout. Cornett reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and eventually scored on a wild pitch for a 12-7 lead.

Chesterfield padded its lead with three tallies in the sixth. Stephens led off with a home run to right. Leighton Carter walked, stole second, moved up on an error and scored on a single by Akers, who stole second and third and scored on another error for a 15-7 lead.

A Chesterfield error keyed the final Hagerstown rally in the bottom of the sixth, allowing Pietro to reach base. Byers' single scored Pietro before Jason Mayles, who walked, came in on a groundout by Dylan Appel, making it 15-9.

Chesterfield's final run came in the seventh when pinch-hitter Keith Roberts singled, stole second and third and came home on an error.                     

Byers had two hits and three RBIs, and Yacyk had two hits and two RBIs for Hagerstown. Yacyk went 7-for-10 in the tourney.

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