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Brunswick too much for Halfway

July 30, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN
  • Brunswick players celebrate their victory over Halfway in the Maryland 11-12 Little League Baseball State Tournament on Thursday.
Photo by Matthew Gunby/Salisbury Daily Times,

SALISBURY, Md. -- Simply put, the Halfway Little League 11-12 All-Stars ran out of arms and out of gas in the Maryland State Tournament championship round Thursday.

With its four top pitchers unavailable after pitching earlier this week, Halfway was powerless to stop Brunswick's offense in an 18-2 loss at West Salisbury Little League.

Brunswick tied the record for most runs in a state title game and set the record for largest margin of victory. Brunswick won its seventh state title -- its first since 1995 -- and earned a berth in the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Conn., next week.

"Hats off to Brunswick, they're a great hitting team," Halfway manager Mike Gooden said.

An hour before the scheduled 5:30 start, the game looked likely to be postponed to today because of several storms that socked Salisbury. But the rain stopped and dozens of volunteers helped get the field ready.

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Halfway would rather have waited, as Matt Malphurs and Tanner Canfield would have been eligible to pitch again. Instead, they joined Bryce Ruppenthal and Brandon Gooden on the ineligible list.

"They originally cancelled it at 4:30, but people kept pushing to get it in," Gooden said. "We'd have much preferred tomorrow with a drier field and our pitching situation."

Brunswick scored six runs in the top of the first inning. Justin Walls hit a two-run single and Sean Christie capped the inning with a three-run home run, his first of three in the game.

A nine-run third inning made it 15-0 Brunswick and ended all doubt. Christie homered twice, Tommy McCarty hit an RBI double, Dylan Ellis and John Harding hit RBI singles and Tyler Babyak hit a two-run single.

Matt Malphurs hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third for Halfway's two runs. Brunswick finished the scoring in the fourth on Joe Rindone's two-run homer and Harding's solo shot.

In a great moment of sportsmanship, Halfway's Brandon Gooden and Canfield high-fived Rindone as he rounded the bases.

"Little League Baseball is about building friendships," Mike Gooden said. "We've shared a hotel with Brunswick, and those kids have made friends. They might be swimming in the pool tonight."

Gooden also complimented former manager Les Martin and assistant Rod Steiner, who left the team for undisclosed reasons before Wednesday's game.

"Les and Rod did a great job getting these kids ready," Gooden said. "They deserve to get all the credit. I just tried to see it through at the end, but we ran out of gas."

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