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Malphurs pitches gem for Halfway

July 26, 2010

SALISBURY, Md. -- Matt Malphurs pitched a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts, leading the Halfway Little League 11-12 All-Stars to a 5-0 victory over Berlin on Sunday at the Maryland State Tournament.

Halfway will face Brunswick on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the winners' bracket final at West Salisbury Little League.

"They're very well-coached, a real good team," Halfway manager Les Martin said of Brunswick. "We're going to have our hands full and it's going to be a great game."

Malphurs allowed just a third-inning single and one walk. He also capped Halfway's scoring with an RBI single in a three-run fifth inning.

"He was great. He was on," Martin said. "He's one of our leaders on the team and he's pulled us through the tournaments hitting-wise and pitching-wise. He keeps telling the kids he wants to win. He's always positive."

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Halfway took a 2-0 lead in the second. Tanner Canfield singled and Zach Andrews hit a two-out, two-strike home run.

"That gave us momentum," Martin said. "We had a little rain delay (in the third inning) and that concerned me a little bit, but we took care of business."

In the fifth, Jordan Wood drew a walk and Andrews singled before a passed ball moved them to third and second. Bryce Ruppenthal followed with a two-run single up the middle for a 4-0 lead. Ruppenthal moved to second and third on two wild pitches before Malphurs' hit.

"If a couple kids aren't on, the others are," Martin said. "It's a big team effort."

Halfway is trying to become the third straight District 1 representative to win the state tournament and advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Conn. Federal Little League won in 2008 on its way to the Little League World Series, and Conococheague Little League won last year.

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