11-12 tourney: Maugansville shows life, beats Halfway

July 07, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI |

MAUGANSVILLE — The Maugansville All-Stars completed a self-help survey on Saturday.

Call it a reality check. They realized they want to keep playing baseball.

Maugansville came back from a flat opening performance and scored four runs in the first inning to prime the pump for a 10-6 victory over Halfway in a Maryland District 1 11-12 tournament losers’ bracket game.

Maugansville advances to play at the West End-American winner on Monday at 6 p.m.

“They came in today pumped up,” said Maugansville manager Jason Carbaugh. “We lost our first game and didn’t seem motivated. The kids came ready to play today.”

Maugansville dropped a 8-2 decision to Valley on Thursday in the tournament opener and was rather listless.

On Saturday, it was a different story.

Four runs in the top of the first inning has a way of changing a team’s disposition.

Maugansville, playing as the visitors, had four of its first five batters collect hits against Halfway’s Camryn Keller — including a two-run homer by Jared Caudell to cap it all — to defeat the purpose of any motivational speech Carbaugh could give.

“They came ready and got four runs in the first,” Carbaugh said. “Then, they got comfortable and flattened out, but they got back up again because they realize you can never have enough runs in Little League baseball.”

T.J. Quelet led off with a single hit back at Keller to open the game. Spencer McNamee drove him in on a bad-hop double to left. Justin Akins followed with a one-out RBI double before Caudell’s first-pitch blast to right center for the early 4-0 lead.

Maugansville settled in behind the pitching of McNamee to take control of the game. McNamee presented a small presence on the mound, but came up big, allowing four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.

“He’s a great 11-year-old pitcher,” Carbaugh said. “He has a strong curve and a good fastball. Batters don’t know what to expect. They see this little kid on the mound and suddenly the ball is by them.”

McNamee was touched for an unearned run in the first as Keller hit an RBI single. Halfway cut the lead to 4-2 in the second when Jaden Brady doubled and Tre Davis singled before pulling off a successful double steal to get the run.

Halfway seemed to be more active in the middle innings while Keller held down Maugansville.

“We had a shaky start,” said Halfway manager Troy Keller. “Camryn settled down and pitched a heck of a game. But it’s Little League baseball and errors happen. ... It doesn’t matter if it is 9-10s or 11-12s, errors happen. We weren’t able to overcome them.”

Maugansville picked up a pair of unearned runs in the third, as a fielding error set up Mark Spicher’s sacrifice fly and Ben Gazzola’s RBI single to take a 6-4 lead.

Halfway countered with two runs in the fourth on Davis’ two-out, two-run homer to right to reel the deficit back to within two runs.

Maugansville added four insurance runs in the sixth, started when Quelet hit a one-out homer to left. After McNamee reached on a throwing error and Jacob Carbaugh singled, both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Akins’ two-run single to end Camryn Keller’s day.

Gavin Thompson came on in relief and allowed an RBI single to Jacob Pugh for a 10-4 lead.

Halfway loaded the bases in their half of the sixth and scored on a walk to Mike McCook and a Bret Artz sacrifice fly. Gazzola made a diving stop at third on Camryn Keller’s grounder for a forceout to end the game.

“We kept fighting,” Troy Keller said. “I thought we were in position to come back, but their third baseman made a great play. He made two great plays against us to kill rallies. Our guys played their butts off.”

Davis led Halfway with two hits and two RBIs.

Quelet had three hits and an RBI, while Akins had two hits and three RBIs for Maugansville.

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