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Delmar finds focus to make Halfway a blur

July 20, 2010|By WILL ROBINSON/Staff Correspondent
  • Halfway first baseman Harrison Barger leaps to try and pull down a high throw as Delmar's Jimmy Adkins crosses the base safely.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

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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.

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That brought Austin out of the dugout to meet with Adkins.

"(Jimmy) just came in and did what we asked," said Austin.

After the meeting, Adkins induced a grounder by Blake Gooden that forced out pinch runner J.P. Melby at home. Second baseman Austin Rhodes made a big play on Shawn Loar and gunned him down at first to end the game.

Delmar plays in the championship round on Thursday at 6. Halfway will play in the losers' bracket final Wedensday at 6.

Delmar's defense held Halfway in check, in large part due to the performance of starting pitcher Tim Ward. Ward allowed two hits over 4 1/3 innings, while striking out six.

"We need him for the championship game, so we pulled him after 66 pitches," said Austin. "We're taking chances and they're coming through."

In other action on Monday, Northern Calvert eliminated Arbutus 16-6, and Elkton eliminated East Frederick 7-2. Northern Calvert and Elkton face each other tonight at 6 in the losers' bracket semifinal.

Northern Calvert's Dillon Waters continued his tournament-long hitting streak with three hits, including a three-run homer. Kyle Kingsbury added two hits and an RBI, while Mac McGrath contributed with a three-run double.

Jack Stewart paced Elkton with a three-run homer and a solo homer and Casey Baker added a solo shot. Nick Gregson had two hits and an RBI.

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