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Sharpsburg earns rematch with Conococheague

June 30, 2011|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — “We want Conococheague! We want Conococheague!” the Sharpsburg Little League fans chanted from the stands at the conclusion of Thursday’s game at Federal Little League.

Their wish had just been granted.

Sharpsburg defeated Federal 13-6 to advance to the losers’ bracket final of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament Friday at 6 p.m. at Conococheague.

When it comes to rematches, this one looms large.

Sharpsburg defeated Conococheague 13-11 in the opening round last Friday, but had the victory taken away the next day after Conococheague officials protested that Sharpsburg had an ineligible player — who indeed did not live within Sharpsburg’s league boundaries.

Sharpsburg responded by winning four games in four days this week, earning a chance for revenge against Conococheague.

“It is what it is. The kids worked hard to get this matchup,” Sharpsburg manager Steve Mason said. “Conococheague is a very good team, and there’s a lot of history between these two teams.

“We just want to come out and play ball, and the kids will take care of the business on the field.”

They took care of things against Federal on Thursday, overcoming early deficits of 3-0 and 4-1.

After scoring two runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it a 4-3 game, Sharpsburg erupted for seven runs in the fourth for a 10-4 lead.

“We just came out a little slow,” Mason said. “But we got that spark and never looked back.”

Peyton Mason led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Also for Sharpsburg, Ben Burgan was 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs, Jon Grimm went 2-for-3 with a double, walk and four RBIs, Dalton Shank was 2-for-2 with two doubles and two walks, T.J. Kalagher had an RBI double and Michael Fotta and Brandon Porter each had an RBI.

“We’ve got a hitting team — 1 through 9 can drive the ball,” Steve Mason said.

Porter pitched the first 4 2/3 innings for Sharpsburg, allowing just three hits and three walks. Josh DeRocher relieved Porter and held Federal scoreless the rest of the way.

“That’s what we needed to get from (Porter), and he came and delivered,” Steve Mason said. “And then Josh DeRocher came in and shut them down.”

Federal took a 3-0 lead in the first on three errors and two hits, including an RBI double by Luke O’Dell. Federal went up 4-1 in the second on Camden Casey’s two-out solo home run to left.

But Federal only had one hit after that. Its final two runs came on two walks and two errors in the fifth.

“We just didn’t get the key hits we’ve been getting the last couple of games, but that’s baseball,” Federal manager Dennis Corapi said. “But the kids did great and the fan support was awesome. We finished fourth in the district, nothing to hang your heads down on.”

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