Federal outlasts Halfway

July 07, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — What a difference a change of scenery makes.

With Federal and Halfway tied after six innings, the game — which started at Halfway — was moved to Conococheague to be completed due to darkness. Under the lights of Conococheague, Federal scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to prevail over Halfway 8-4 in a Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament matchup.

“This was a whole team effort by Federal,” said Federal manager Charlie Wood.

In the seventh, Bryant Shives was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and Myles Nicholson walked to move him to second. Jayvien Sandridge then singled to load up the bases.

Brady Munson knocked Shives in for what would be the winning run before a two-base error allowed Nicholson and Sandridge to score.

Munson came in to score on another error.

“Halfway’s loaded, but I’ll put our bats against anyone,” said Wood. “Once Shives got on base there in the seventh we had a snowball effect, then everybody was putting the ball in play.”

Nicholson allowed two baserunners in the bottom of the frame, but induced a harmless grounder and a strikeout to put the game away. Nicholson had two strikeouts and a walk in 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

“Hats off to Nicholson’s relief, he really kept us off balance out there,” said Halfway manager Mike Gooden. “I thought we had the momentum coming to Conococheague, but we’re not hitting Halfway style. We’re used to hitting with power. Maybe we’re pressing a little too much.”

Halfway’s Bryce Ruppenthal hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to tie the game, but Federal’s Nathan Kline hit a two-run dinger in the top of the third to put Federal up 4-2. Halfway tied the game back up in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Brandon Gooden and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Wood.

“We may be pressing a little bit or something, but we made some mistakes. Giving the other team second life can come back to bite you,” said Gooden.

Despite the loss, Halfway is in familiar territory.

“We were 1-1 at this point last season and we came back to win a district title, so we’ve done this before,” said Gooden. “But we’ve got to get our bats going.”

Federal will host Valley in the winners’ bracket Saturday at 5 p.m., and Halfway will host American in the losers’ bracket today at 6 p.m.

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