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9-10 tourney: West End is in right place at right time

June 28, 2012|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — West End used an eight-run fifth inning to propel itself past American 12-9 on Thursday evening and into the losers’ bracket final of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament.

West End trailed American 9-4 entering the bottom of the fifth inning before roaring back to take the lead.

“It was big inning and came at the right time for us,” West End manager Mark Brown said.

West End will travel to Valley Friday at 6, with the winner going on to play Federal in the championship round. Valley beat West End 7-6 on June 26.

“We’re excited to still be in it,” Brown said. “We’ll keep going on, hopefully.”

West End’s fifth-inning rally took off when Chuck Kelley scored the first run on Ryne Forrest’s RBI single. Bailey Himes scored on the same play after avoiding a rundown.

Julius Brown then scored for West End, and Forrest scored when the ball went out of play to cut American’s lead to 9-8.

Kaleb Shanholtz gave West End the lead with a two-run single, then scored on a bases-loaded walk before Kameron Hollinger scored on a passed ball to go ahead 12-9 heading to the final inning.

“It was a knock-down, drag-’em-out game,” Brown said. “We tacked on some runs and built a cushion, which gave me a better feeling because anything can happen in these games.”

American took the lead in the third inning after being being stuck in a 4-1 hole. Jayvon Burnett doubled home the first two runs before Burnett and Quiebren Gantt scored on a passed ball for a 5-4 lead. Sam Hardman’s RBI single gave American a two-run cushion.

“I think the boys played their hearts out,” American manager Dave Hardman said. “We made a nice run. We were a little tired, but that’s no excuse.”

Sam Hardman scored in the top of the first to give American a 1-0 lead, but West End scored three runs in the bottom half — two on errors and one on a passed ball.

Shanholtz singled in Izaiah Dillinger to extend West End’s lead to 4-1 in the second.

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