Hagerstown rolls to PONY-14 section title

July 23, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Hagerstown ‘A’ won the PONY-14 Section Tournament title on Monday night with a 12-4 victory over Chambersburg in the championship round.

Hagerstown ‘A’ and Chambersburg will both advance to the region tournament in Boardman, Ohio, which will start this Friday.

“It is a team effort,” Hagerstown manager John Phillips said. “If somebody makes a mistake, the other 14 guys pick him up. Our run production was like last night. It started out slow, but then we picked it up. It would be nice to see what would happen if all 15 of them would hit well at one time.”

Hagerstown was on top the whole way as it started off with two runs in the top of the first inning. Ryan Brown and Colby Byers drew walks and Justin Smith singled to center to load the bases. Hagerstown then got a two-run double to center by Dalton Stewart, who went 4-for-4 at the plate and finished 6-for-9 for the tournament.

After Chambersburg got a run in the bottom of the first, Hagerstown answered with a run in the top of the second when Matt Malphurs banged a solo homer off the shed behind the left-field fence.

Hagerstown added three more runs in the top of the third to stretch its lead to 6-1. Byers drew a leadoff walk and Cody Hammond followed by clubbing a two-run homer to center. Smith walked and both Stewart and Zach Andrews reached on bunt singles to load the bases. Malphurs then reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in Smith.

Chambersburg got a three-run homer by Kevin Carbaugh in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 6-4, but it would get no closer than that.

Hagerstown came through with five runs in the fifth to widen the gap to 11-4. Hagerstown loaded the bases when Stewart reached on an infield single, Jordan Tapley walked and Brown was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Miles Gayman drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Stewart.

Byers then busted a grand slam to center to give him seven RBIs in the tournament.

“I finally kept my head down and my weight back and drove it out of there,” Byers said. “I got a fastball belt-high. I thought that we added up the runs until we got a comfortable lead.”

Hagerstown got its final run in the seventh. With one out, Jordan Davis walked and took second on a wild pitch. One out later, Trent Rider singled to left to score Davis.

Tapley struck out eight in four scoreless innings of relief to get his second win of the tournament for Hagerstown.

“I think my curveball was pretty good,” Tapley said. “I was mixing up my pitches. I felt like I was in control out there.”

Phillips likes what he’s seen from his pitching staff.

“Our pitching is phenomenal,” Phillips said. “The guys know what to do and they come through. I have a lot of good pitchers on my team.”

Phillips has high expectations for his team.

“The journey is just beginning,” Phillips said. “It is one game at a time. We still haven’t peaked yet. We still have a way to go yet.”

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