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Conococheague falls to New York at Mid-Atlantic Regional

August 05, 2011|From staff reports
  • Conococheague's Levi Taylor (29) is tagged out at third base by New York's Jerry Huntzinger (13) during a Mid-Atlantic Regional game at Breen Field in Bristol, Conn., on Friday.
By Mike Orazzi/The Bristol Press

New York state champion Great Kills American Little League scored five runs in the fifth inning to pull away from Maryland state champion Conococheague Little League for a 7-3 victory on the opening day of the Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday in Bristol., Conn.

“We made two or three defensive mistakes and at least two dumb baserunning mistakes,” Conococheague manager Pat Taylor said. “Four or five mental mistakes hurt us and gave them some extra runs we didn’t need them to have. I don’t know if it’s first-game tournament jitters or what. It’s uncharacteristic of our team and hopefully we can make the adjustment.”

New York took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Conococheague starting pitcher Levi Taylor. Hayden Gumb led off with a triple to right and scored on Jerry Huntzinger’s single, with Huntzinger moving to second on an error. James Greig singled to put runners on first and third, and Huntzinger scored on a two-out wild pitch. Taylor got out of the jam with a groundout after striking out two.

Conococheague tied the game against Greig in the bottom of the third. Justin Beckley led off with an 11-pitch walk and Trevor Knode singled to put Conococheague in business. Caden Keplinger then reached on an infield error, but Beckley was thrown out trying to score for the first out.

Taylor followed with a single to center to score Knode, before Arnone reached on an infield error that allowed Keplinger to score the tying run. Greig escaped the inning without any further damage.

Taylor struck out the first batter he faced in the top of the fifth, then fell behind 3-0 on Antonio Gaudino before being relieved by Jake Arnone after throwing 65 pitches — allowing Taylor to come back and pitch Tuesday against Pennsylvania if needed.

“We have three or four other guys that we wanted to get in there and use for 20 pitches,” Pat Taylor said. “We want to have as much pitching available as we can for each day. Levi pitched well and a couple mistakes behind him hurt him.”

Gaudino drew ball four from Arnone, before Gumb singled to right and Huntzinger singled to center to load the bases. Greig drew a six-pitch walk to force in Gaudino with the go-ahead run, and Sean Fackovec singled to center to score Gumb and make it 4-2.

Isaac Schlotterbeck replaced Arnone and hit Carbonella with a 1-2 pitch to force in Huntzinger and make it 5-2. Tom Bonviso hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Greig and make it 6-2. Mike Briordy then hit a fielder’s choice with Conococheague failing to get an out, and Fackovec scored to make it 7-2. Schlotterbeck induced a groundout to end the inning.

Darian Bryan led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center for Conococheague. Bryan took second on a wild pitch before Keplinger reaches on an infield error as Bryan took third. Taylor followed with a single to center to score Bryan and cut the lead to 7-3 before Greig got out of the inning with a groundout and strikeout.

Gage Kyler came on to pitch the sixth and set down New York in order on nine pitches to give Conococheague a chance.

Robert Carr led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to right, but Greig retired the next three hitters to finish off an 86-pitch complete-game victory. Greig threw 70 strikes and allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six.

“He got his first pitch across for a strike, and he had a curve that he used effectively,” Pat Taylor said. “He wasn’t a dominant pitcher but he threw strikes.”

Levi Taylor took the loss, allowing four hits, three runs and one walk while striking out five.

Conococheague plays Delaware state champion Newark National — a 16-2 winner over District of Columbia champion Northwest Washington — this morning at 11. Schlotterbeck will get the start for Conococheague.

“We have a pretty good idea who will pitch against us,” Pat Taylor said. “(Delaware) has a left-hander who threw 20 pitches today. I think we’ll have to be patient. He has a breaking pitch he throws that he tries to get people to chase, so if we can lay off that and put the ball in play, I think we’ll be fine.”

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