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Sharpsburg builds one more rally

July 02, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

SHARPSBURG -- They enjoyed Wednesday's two-out rallies so much to tie the game, why not do it again less than 24 hours later to win it?

Sharpsburg, which rallied twice to come back from an 18-8 deficit to forge an 18-18 tie after six innings before darkness set in Wednesday, finalized the comeback on Thursday with a 19-18 victory in the losers' bracket of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Little League tournament.

"We knew we had some momentum that we wanted to keep going," said Sharpsburg manager Ben Gay.

And it seemed the momentum was just waiting until two outs were recorded for the next rally to occur.

After starting the seventh inning by retiring Sharpsburg's first two batters, Maugansville's Justin Akins walked Aaron Hartle and Kelton Brown delivered a double to left field to suddenly put Sharpsburg in its comfort zone.

Left-hander Ben Burgan sliced an offering from Akins into left-center field that Ben Gazzola made a dive for a hopeful game-saving out.

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Gazzola's great effort went for naught as his glove could not reach the ball, sending Hartle in with the winning run and putting Sharpsburg into today's losers' bracket final at National at 6.

"It was kind of scary to have so many two-out rallies," said Burgan, who finished with four hits and five RBIs. "I went up just not wanting to make the last out. When I hit it I thought it would be a hit."

"That was the key with Hartle getting the walk and then Burgan finds the hole on the hit," said Gay.

The suspension also gave both teams an opportunity to get back to some normalcy in their pitching staffs and Sharpsburg made the most of it.

Brown, who had the required rest since pitching last Saturday, retired Maugansville in order in the top of the seventh on 12 pitches.

"We talked about being in that situation and how important it was to have your ace and Brown went out there and got us three outs," said Gay.

Maugansville, which had scored nine runs in the fifth inning on Wednesday to take a 10-run lead along with 15 hits, was held scoreless and hitless over the last two innings.

"I thought the game would finish in one inning," said Maugansville manager Jason Carbaugh. "(Sharpsburg) had more two-out rallies than us. (Burgan's) hit was no ordinary fly ball. Ben made the effort."

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