Hagerstown B eliminated from PONY East Zone Tournament

August 06, 2011|By PAT DeCOLA | New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER, N.H. — It’s never easy to wake up from a dream that’s everything you wanted and more.

The 2011 Hagerstown B PONY team was awoken a little sooner than it wanted, as it was knocked out of the PONY East Zone tournament after its second straight loss, a 13-3 five-inning drubbing at the hands of New Bedford (Mass.) in the losers’ bracket semifinal on Saturday.

“I’m proud of these kids,” said Hagerstown manager John Phillips. “They’re a fine group of ballplayers and they’ve played their hearts out.”

The miracle run to the East Zone tournament was highlighted when Hagerstown B defeated Hagerstown A twice in the regional tournament in Boardman, Ohio.

Following a 6-1 loss to host Greater Manchester in the opening round on Friday, the road to the PONY World Series became a little harder as Hagerstown would have had to win four straight games to move on to Washington, Pa., to face the nation’s best.

Those hopes were quickly dashed.

New Bedford kicked off the game with three straight singles and came out of the top of the first inning with a 3-0 lead.

Hagerstown leadoff man Garrett Spinks walked to open the bottom of the frame and scored on a Blake Harne sacrifice fly.

The floodgates opened in the top of the second, however, as Hagerstown starter Jeff Bennett allowed six runs — five earned — to give New Bedford a commanding 9-1 lead.

Hagerstown managed to get another run on the board in the bottom of the second on a Spinks single that plated Bennett.

In the third, Chase Eichelberger walked and scored to give Hagerstown its third run.

The runs continued for New Bedford in the fourth and fifth innings, as it scored four more to put the game out of reach at 13-3.

Hagerstown mustered a JJ Cooper single in the bottom of the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to prolong the game.

Zach Andrews reached base twice in the loss for Hagerstown.

Tyler Zell picked up the win for New Bedford, which advanced to the losers’ bracket final and beat Greater Manchester 18-5 after scoring 10 runs in the first inning and six in the second.

Henry-County (Va.) will face New Bedford in a rematch of an opening-round game in the championship round today at 11 a.m., with a second game being played at 2 p.m. if needed. Henry-County won the first matchup 9-8 in eight innings.

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