Delaware shuts down Conococheague at Mid-Atlantic Regional

August 06, 2011|From staff reports
  • Conocoheague's Gage Kyler covers his face while being talked to by manager Pat Taylor during Saturday's loss to Delaware at the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Conn.
By Mike Orazzi/The Bristol Press

Alex Barker held Conococheague to one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Conococheague pitchers walked nine hitters as Delaware state champion Newark National defeated the Maryland state champs 7-1 on Saturday at the Mid-Atlantic Region Little League Baseball Tournament in Bristol, Conn.

“He’s a pretty nice pitcher,” Conococheague manager Pat Taylor said of Barker. “We looked at a lot of fastballs down the middle of the plate. We found ourselves in a lot of two-strike counts and were a little passive today, just a little hesitant at the plate and maybe guessing at pitches.”

Delaware improved to 2-0 — it beat District of Columbia champion Northwest Washington 16-2 on Friday — while Conococheague fell to 0-2 following Friday's 7-1 loss to New York state champion Great Kills American. Conococheague next faces the District of Columbia (0-1) on Monday at 11 a.m., and almost certainly needs a victory if it hopes to advance to the semifinals.

“We have practice Sunday morning and we’ll work on a few things, and then we’ll get off campus for a few hours and just go clear our heads and try to have a good time,” Taylor said. “There’s an amusement park nearby and we’ll try to clear our heads and take a day off. We feel very comfortable as far as where we fit in with the competition, it’s just a matter of our guys executing and playing the game.”

Isaac Schlotterbeck started for Conococheague and struck out Nick Jones before walking Chris Ludman in the top of the first inning. Aaron Weber followed with a single to center to move Ludman to third. Weber took second on defensive indifference before Schlotterbeck struck out Andrew Delpercio, but Danny Miller hit a two-out, two-run single to center for the lead. Barker walked before Schlotterbeck got Donnie Weaver to fly out to right to get out of the inning after 32 pitches.

Schlotterbeck retired the first two Delaware hitters in the top of the fourth, then walked the next two and needed six pitches to retire Ludman on a ball hit to first to end the inning. That put Schlotterbeck at the pitch-count limit of 85, ending his day on the mound after allowing two runs on three hits and five walks with six strikeouts.

Levi Taylor led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to center for Conococheague's first hit against Barker, a left-hander. Caden Keplinger hit a one-out single to left to move Taylor to third, before Schlotterbeck hit into a fielder's choice to short that allowed Taylor to score while Keplinger was forced out at second for the second out. Barker ended the inning with a strikeout to keep Delaware ahead, 2-1.

Gage Kyler got the call to start the top of the fifth on the mound for Conococheague. Weber greeted him with a leadoff single to left. Miller hit a one-out single to left and Barker walked to load the bases. Weaver followed with a grounder to short, and Jake Arnone threw home to retire Weber with the second out. But Kyler walked Clayton Hansen on five pitches to force in a run and give Delaware a 3-1 lead before striking out Brandon Hoeflinger to end the inning.

Barker retired the first two Conococheague hitters in the bottom of the fifth before Arnone singled to center and took second on a wild pitch. Robert Carr then reached on an infield error as Arnone took third, but Barker got out of the jam with his seventh strikeout.

Kyler walked Jones on eight pitches to start the top of the sixth, and Ludman followed with a single to right. Kyler struck out Weber before hitting Delpercio with a pitch to load the bases. Miller followed with a grounder to third that was misplayed for an error, allowing Jones to score and give Delaware a 4-1 lead. That ended Kyler's day on the mound after 47 pitches — he would be eligible for Tuesday's game against Pennsylvania state champion Keystone.

Arnone relieved Kyler and walked Barker to force in another run, making it 5-1. Weaver then hit a grounder to third, with Keplinger throwing home for the second out. Theodovakis and Hoeflinger followed with RBI singles to make it 7-1 before Arnone got Jones to fly out to end the inning.

“A couple times our pitchers were starting on top of the hitters and then falling behind, finding themselves in full-count situations,” Pat Taylor said. “Most of the hits they had were on pitches up in the zone and in the middle of the plate. We have to locate more effectively and be better with our off-speed pitches.”

Kyler led off the bottom of the sixth with a seven-pitch walk, before Barker ended his day on the mound with his eighth strikeout, putting him at the 85-pitch limit. Weber came on in relief and got a groundout and a strikeout to end the game.

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