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Halfway's big first inning leads to championship win over Valley

July 08, 2010|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent
  • Halfway pitcher Donnie Travis celebrates the final out of the game as Halfway defeated Valley in a Maryland 10-11 Tournament game.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer,

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    HALFWAY -- Halfway proved that it is beneficial to get off to a good start, beginning Wednesday's game against Valley with a seven-run rally in the top of the first inning.

    That first inning boosted Halfway to more run production as the night went on and when it was all over, Halfway rolled to a 14-1 win over Valley in the championship game to clinch the Maryland District 1 10-11 Tournament title. The game was stopped after four innings because of the 10-run rule.

    Halfway completed the district tournament with a 3-0 record and advances to the Maryland State 10-11 Tournament at West End Little League beginning July 17.

    After losing its tournament opener, Valley (3-2) won three straight games before being eliminated by Halfway.

    Blake Gooden scored the first run in Halfway's seven-run first inning on a wild pitch. The next two runs came home on an infield single by Bryse Showe and a fielder's choice grounder by J.P. Melby. Catcher Gavin Thompson then belted a three-run triple down the right field line. Thompson scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.

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"It felt awesome," Thompson said. "I hit a fastball. That seven-run first inning felt great. After that inning, our team felt that we could win it. Our batting order is loaded with good hitters."

Halfway added four runs in the second on an RBI single by Showe, a fielder's choice grounder by Coby Brady and a two-run single by Mike McCook.

Halfway added its last three runs in the third on a groundout by Harrison Barger, a throwing error and anRBI single by Brady.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to death," Halfway manager Mike Gooden said. "This is the hardest working team that I have ever had in my eight years of coaching. We had outstanding defense and outstanding hitting tonight. Donnie Travis pitched the game of his life. He kept the ball down and he mixed his off-speed pitches well. He was in control tonight and he had a good defense behind him."

Travis hurled a two-hitter as he gave up only one run in four innings.

Showe finished with three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs, while Brady ended up with two runs scored and two RBIs.

"I have got to hand it to Mike Gooden and the rest of Halfway," Valley manager Frank Bywaters said. "They took it to us in the beginning. For some reason, the bounces just didn't go our way tonight. Halfway just put the ball in play. They hit it where we weren't. I just wish Halfway well in the state tournament. I hope they represent District I well."

Halfway will play its first game on July 18 at 2 against the winner of the game between the District 4 winner and the District 5 winner.

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