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Strong start keeps Hancock with life

July 10, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent


SHARPSBURG — A seven-run first inning gave Hancock’s 11-12 All-Stars the lead they needed to advance, defeating Sharpsburg 12-7 in a Maryland Little League Baseball District 1 losers’ bracket matchup on Sunday.

Hancock had the bases loaded in the bottom of the first when an error allowed pitcher Tayler Kerns to reach while scoring Zach Clark and Tanner Elbin. Ean Mann walked and Tyler Clingerman singled to reload the bases and Kyle Smith’s base hit scored Kerns.

Jared Cubbage was hit by a pitch to bring in Mann, Clingerman and Cubbage both scored on errors and Clark singled home Carl Potter — who reached base on a fielders’ choice — in his second at-bat of the frame to stake Hancock to the big early lead.

“We’re here to have fun in this tournament. It’s a good thing,” said Hancock manager Keith Potter.

The star of the show for Hancock was Kerns, who allowed three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings while striking out five. After cruising through the first two innings he ran into some trouble, allowing Sharpsburg to load the bases. Austin Getridge singled home Drew Housel and Matt Harsh, and Lane Gay and Getridge scored on an error to cut the deficit to 7-4. Kerns escaped by striking out Blaine Morris.

“Kerns looked real good today. He pitched to contact and he let his defense back him up,” said Potter.

Hancock widened the gap to 12-4 with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Clingerman hit a two-run homer, Cameron Castle and Cubbage each scored on bases-loaded walks and Kerns knocked in Potter.

Sharpsburg got three runs back in the top of the fifth inning on RBIs by Getridge, Morris and Zach Holder.

“This is the team that never gives up,” said Sharpsburg manager Joe Harsh. “Everybody hit the ball well, but Tayler Kerns pitched a great game.”

Hancock advances to play Valley today at 6 p.m., while Sharpsburg will wait until next year.

“I just told them to keep plugging away and keep having fun, that’s the most important thing,” said Harsh.

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