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Delmar coach Dwayne Austin drew inspiration from a Nike commercial.
He paid a visit to the mound while the Halfway 10-11 All-Stars were rallying in the seventh inning. He looked at pitcher Jimmy Adkins and said three words.
"Just throw strikes."
The visit immediately paid dividends. Adkins worked his way out of a bases-loaded situation to preserve Delmar's 7-5 victory over Halfway on Monday in the Maryland State Tournament at West End Little League to take the winners' bracket title and advance to the championship round on Thursday.
"I told him not to look at the bases and just focus on the batter," said Austin.
It all started with Halfway trailing 7-4 in the top of the sixth inning. Donnie Travis smacked a solo home run to cut the deficit to two. Mike McCook and John Bennett singled and Gavin Thompson was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.