Halfway opportunistic in runaway

July 10, 2011|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

HALFWAY — An opportunistic Halfway team capitalized on six South Mountain errors and helped its own cause with 12 hits on the way to a 17-3 victory in a Maryland District 1 11-12 losers’ bracket game that was shortened to a four innings due to the 10-run rule.

Halfway’s hot bats were backed by an errorless defensive perfomance and a throng of pitching. Halfway used five different pitchers in the game.

“We’re deep in pitching,” Halfway manager Mike Gooden said. “We have a bunch of guys who can pitch strikes for us.”

Harrison Barger led Halfway both on the mound and at the plate. He was the starting pitcher and struck out three over 1 1/3 innings. He homered in the first inning to give Halfway an early lead.

“Barger really got us going today. His pitching and the home run got us started,” Gooden said.

Ryan Downes went 3-for-4 with seven RBIs, including a grand slam in the fourth inning for the defending district champions.

“It helps when the returners pick up the young guys,” Gooden said. “Now, we’re in the same boat as last year. We’re just going to take it one game at a time.”

Halfway seemingly got stronger as the game went on. It scored three runs in the first, four runs each in the second and third innings and six runs in the fourth.

After Barger’s homer in the first, Downes hit an RBI double and Donnie Travis singled in a run to give Halfway a 3-0 lead.

South Mountain battled back in the bottom of the first when Brent Leone hit a two-run single that closed the gap to one run. It was as close as South Mountain would get the rest of game.

“We were OK at the start, but those errors took the wheels off the wagon,” South Mountain manager Pete Rinehart said.

Barger singled in a run in the second inning and later scored on a wild pitch before Brandon Gooden hit a two-run homer to put Halfway up by five.

A J.P. Melby single plated a run, Downes drove in two runs and another run scored on an error in the third inning before Halfway’s monster fourth inning.

“My hat’s off to South Mountain. They’re going to be a good team,” Mike Gooden said. “They’re just young, but have really good coaches.”
Halfway will play at the loser of the Conococheague-National game tonight at 6.

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