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South Mountain rolls to opening-round victory

July 07, 2010|By BRETT NIEVES/Staff Correspondent

BOONSBORO -- Both National and South Mountain used an abundance of pitchers in Tuesday's opening round of the Maryland District 1 11-12 Little League Tournament.

The difference: National's pitching staff gave up 14 runs, while South Mountain's only allowed four.

South Mountain capitalized on National's pitching struggles Tuesday and advanced to the winners' bracket quarterfinals with a 14-4 victory over National.

South Mountain's Eric Brabson was in the zone as he blasted two home runs.

"It was a good pitch to hit," Brabson said of his first homer. "I found my stroke tonight."

South Mountain broke a scoreless tie in the second inning when Tom Schnackenberg scored on a wild pitch. Duncan Rowland scored later in the inning on a bases-loaded walk.

Both Cory Woodhams and Brooks Keller scored on bases-loaded walks in the third and Blake Dougherty and Nathan Sounders each scored on wild pitches to increase South Mountain's lead to six.

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National issued a total of 17 walks in the game.

"Tough game," National manager Ed Penn said. "We had trouble throwing strikes and had too many walks."

South Mountain tacked on three more runs in the third inning. One came off of Brabson's first home run and the other two scored on Devin Griffith's two-run single.

"The first game is a nervous time for the kids," South Mountain manager Brad Keller said. "But they know what it takes and they pushed one another."

Five more South Mountain runs scored in the top of the sixth. Griffith got his third RBI of the game with a single and Brabson cracked his second homer.

National accumulated only three hits in the game. Austin Socks had one -- a three-run homer in the sixth inning -- and McCoy Dutrow had the other two.

Crisci pitched three innings for South Mountain, giving up one run on two hits, walking one and striking out four. After Crisci, South Mountain used four relievers -- Griffith, Dougherty, Brooks Keller, and Woodhams -- to finish the game.

"Keeping the pitch count low is the key to Little League baseball," Brad Keller said.

South Mountain will host Valley tonight at 6 in a winners' bracket game. National will play the loser of the Federal-Hancock game in the losers' bracket on Thursday.

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