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Conococheague holds off Federal

July 11, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent
  • Conococheague's Robert Carr takes one for the team during an at-bat against Federal on Monday in the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament.
By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Conococheague’s 11-12 All-Stars jumped out to an early lead against Federal in the winners’ bracket final of the Maryland District 1 Tournament, but saw that lead evaporate in the final inning.

Conococheague managed to hold on, however, eking out an 8-7 victory to set up a home game with the losers’ bracket champion Thursday at 6 p.m.

The ball just would not stay in the yard, as there were five home runs between both teams. Conococheague scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning on back-to-back home runs by Levi Taylor — which also scored Jake Arnone — and Gage Kyler for a 3-1 lead.

In the second inning, Arnone reached base on an error and later scored when Kyler also reached on an error. Isaac Schlotterbeck scored Taylor on a sacrifice fly and Caden Keplinger singled in Kyler to give Conococheague a 6-1 lead.

“We’re confident in our lineup from top to bottom, and tonight we were able to string a few hits together,” said Conococheague manager Pat Taylor. “If it isn’t one guy producing, someone else will step up in his place.”

“You can’t ever give a team runs with errors, but they are part of the game and they bit us tonight,” said Federal manager Charlie Wood.

Conococheague scored two runs in the fourth inning — one a solo shot by Trevor Knode — but Federal matched that output to make the score 8-3 heading into the sixth inning.

“We knew that Federal was going to hit and fight until the last out, and that’s exactly what they did,” said Taylor.

Ben Quirple singled and Malik Carey doubled to set up Myles Nicholson’s two-out, three-run home run to left-center. Jayvien Sandridge made it back-to-back jacks to cut the deficit to one, but Arnone came in to pitch and earned the one-out save.

“We play with a lot of heart and intensity. I’m proud of our kids for how they battled today,” said Wood. “I’m confident in my players. We came into this tournament as a dark horse, but now I think that other teams are noticing us and sending their best pitchers against us.”

Federal will host either Halfway or Valley in the losers’ bracket final Wednesday at 6 p.m.

As for Conococheague, Taylor hopes that two days off doesn’t negatively affect his team’s intensity.

“Our challenge is to keep this intensity over the break,” said Taylor. “Some teams are still playing these next two days and staying in rhythm. We still need this intensity on Thursday.”

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