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Crisci is the key to victory

South Mountain pitcher locks up Federal for win

July 11, 2010|By WILL ROBINSON/Staff Correspondent

South Mountain pulled no punches in its fourth-inning knockout of Federal 13-3 in a Maryland District 1 11-12 Little League Tournament losers' bracket game shortened by the 10-run rule.

Matt Crisci spun a five-strikeout, one-walk gem, keeping Federal's bats at bay with his extensive repertoire of fastballs, curves, changeups and the occasional knuckler.

"I can thank Extra Innings for a lot of my pitches, and of course coach Brad (Keller)," said Crisci. "But I just had trust in my defense, that's why I pitched so well today."

The only major chink in Crisci's armor came in the form of a two-run homer by Clay Smith in the top of the fourth. Jayvien Sandridge scored Damon Nave on an RBI groundout in the second inning after Nave was hit by a pitch.

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With Federal scrapping to close the gap to 6-3, South Mountain exploded with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a pair of two-run blasts by Eric Brabson and Logan Taulton. Devin Griffith, who also led off the inning with a walk and later scored, smacked a bases-loaded single off of Nave to score the game-ending run.

"I just knew if I put it in play it would seal the deal," said Griffith.

Keller praised how in sync his offense and pitching were.

"We needed a short game, just because of how the losers' bracket is set up, and that's just what we got," said Keller. "Crisci pitched a fantastic game, and small ball worked for us. Three bunts in the third got us kick-started and we just rolled from there."

A scary moment came in the fourth inning off of Smith's home run, as the ball bounced off the scoreboard and hit right fielder Dillon Denig, who left the game with a broken nose.

"We love Dillon, he plays his heart out every game, hopefully he'll be back soon," said Keller.

South Mountain will face Halfway on Monday night at 6 in another elimination game.

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