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Senior tourney: Maugansville puts what it practices into motion to knock off Conococheague

June 26, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Maugansville's Brandon Haupt gets congratulated as he rounds third after a solo home run - his first of two in the game - in the third inning to lead his team to a 9-5 victory over Conococheague in the opening round of the Maryland District 1 Senior League tournament.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — There must be a reason why coaches demand perfection at practice.

If anything, that reasoning was on display in the Maryland District 1 Senior League opener. Maugansville did everything it drilled and Conococheague was drilled by everything it didn’t.

Maugansville used strong pitching by Tyler Shindle, a pair of home runs by Brandon Haupt and alert base running to score a 9-5 victory over host Conococheague on Tuesday in the opener of the double-elimination tournament.

Conococheague allowed six unearned runs. Four runs scored on wild pitches or passed balls. At every turn, Maugansville was in position to capitalize.

“We practice our base running,” said Maugansville manager Dan Dopson. “We try to take advantage of mistakes.”

There were more miscues than Conococheague’s Mike Iseminger could understand.

“We gave them (six) unearned runs,” he said. “It’s frustrating. They don’t practice that way.”

With the victory, Maugansville will host Valley in the winners’ bracket final, while Conococheague falls into the losers’ bracket and will host South Mountain. Both games are Thursday night at 5:30.

Maugansville took advantage of the early gaffes with six runs over the first four innings to take a 6-2 lead. It was the basis for an effective night by Shindle, who struggled in the first but regained total control in his final five frames.

“I was releasing the ball high in the first inning,” Shindle said. “I started to follow through on my motion. Every time I made a mistake, I fought through it. And with us scoring early, it got the monkey off my back.”

Shindle allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in his 98-pitch outing, walking three and striking out seven.

“He did an outstanding job,” Dopson said. “He has a strong work ethic and he stayed within himself. That’s something I preach to all these guys.”

Maugansville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off Conococheague starter Blake Harne. Shindle hit a one-out double and Corey Staubs reached on an error before they scored on RBI singles by Haupt and Michael Sullivan.

Conococheague got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Austin Stine walked, stole second, took third on Harne’s single to left and scored on an errant pickoff throw to third.

Brock Doyle reached on an error, Stephen St. Clair singled and Rich Montgomery reached on another error to load the bases in the second before Doyle scored on a wild pitch to give Maugansville a 3-1 lead.

Haupt made it 4-1 with a leadoff home run to left in the third.

Conococheague closed within 4-2 in the bottom half when Stine reached on an infield single to short and stole second before scoring on Casey Shank’s single to left.

Maugansville added two runs in the fourth, scoring on a wild pitch and a passed ball to take a 6-2 lead.

Three unearned runs in the sixth helped Maugansville all but put the game out of reach. Shindle reached on a two-out error and took third on Conner Hill’s bloop single to right before scoring on a wild pitch by reliever Trey French.

Haupt capped the inning with a two-run homer to right for a 9-2 lead.

“That was great to watch,” Dopson said. “It kind of took all the air out of the room.”

Conococheague started a comeback attempt with a run in the sixth, loading the bases without the benefit of a hit and scoring on a Shindle wild pitch. It added two runs in the seventh against Sullivan — who took the mound in relief — with a pair of bases-loaded singles by Shank and French. Conococheague had the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate when the game ended.

Haupt had three hits and four RBIs for Maugansville. Stine had two hits and scored three times for Conococheague.

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