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Halfway gets win in state 11-12 opener

July 25, 2010

SALISBURY, Md. -- The Halfway 11-12 All-Stars didn't waste much time showing off their potent offense Saturday in the opening game of the Maryland 11-12 Little League State Tournament.

Halfway, the District 1 champion, quickly erased an early 2-0 deficit by scoring 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning on the way to a 14-3, four-inning victory over District 4 champ South Maryland.

"It was awesome," Halfway manager Les Martin said. "They scored two on us, we came back and scored 11 and we just kept on rolling. I'm just amazed with this team. They've really responded and stepped up."

Matt Malphurs hit a three-run homer to give Halfway the lead for good at 3-2. A two-run homer by Brandon Gooden made it 5-2, a two-run single by Billy Miller made it 7-2 and RBI singles by Zach Andrews and Ryan Downes upped the lead to 9-2. Austin Sigler capped the first-inning rally with a two-run double.

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An RBI single by Bryce Ruppenthal gave Halfway a 12-2 lead in the second.

After South Maryland scored a run in the top of the third, Halfway answered with two in the bottom half on a two-run double by Mikey Toms.

Ruppenthal, Downes and Miller each had two of Halfway's 13 hits in the game.

Ruppenthal also pitched the first two innings for the win. Gooden pitched the final two innings.

"The whole atmosphere in the dugout was just incredible," Martin said. "The team is really coming together."

Halfway plays District 8 champ Berlin today at 3:30 p.m. Berlin, the host team, received a bye Saturday.

"We're going to try to bring it home, but we still have a long way to go," Martin said. "We're going to keep them focused and take it game to game. That's all we can do."

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