Hagerstown's 13-run inning mashes Mexico

July 29, 2012

FULLERTON, Calif. — The hits just kept on coming for the Hagerstown PONY-13 All-Stars in the fourth inning against Tijuana, Mexico, on Sunday at the PONY-13 World Series.

When the inning started, Hagerstown — which lost to Tijuana 9-3 in its first game Friday — trailed Tijuana 3-1 in the elimination game.

By the time it was over, Hagerstown had turned 11 hits into 13 runs and a 14-3 lead on the way to a 15-4 victory in five innings.

“It was amazing,” Hagerstown manager Dave Barr said. “Ironically, the same thing happened to us in the first game against Mexico — they scored three runs in the first inning — and they did the same thing today with two runs.

“When they came off the field, I told our team, ‘This game is going to be won between the second inning and the fifth inning.’ Now of course I didn’t think we were going to plate 13 runs in the fourth. I would have settled for six. We batted around twice and that’s what I was looking for, everybody was locked in and it’s one of those innings you love to be on that end of.”

Hagerstown became one of only four teams left alive in the tournament and advanced to play unbeaten Tamiami, out of Miami, Fla., Sunday night. Tamiami won 16-6 to eliminate Hagerstown from the tournament and will face Irvine (Calif.) for the championship.

“What the average baseball fan doesn’t understand is the odds are stacked against you when you get out here,” Barr said. “Mexico, this was their 92nd game of the season today. We’ve been together for three weeks. It’s a credit to the parents, the players, the coaching staff and the league to put that quality of a team on the field and compete with these teams that are hand-picked and selected on the West Coast.”

Gage Kyler started the fourth with a walk. Isaac Schlotterbeck hit a one-out single to open the floodgates. Bryce Scharenbroch followed with an RBI double and Levi Taylor’s two-run single gave Hagerstown a 4-3 lead.

Singles by Bryce Ruppenthal and Mitchell Wilson loaded the bases. Ryan Downes drove in two with a double and Matthew Harsh followed with an RBI single to make it 7-3.

Myles Nicholson walked to reload the bases and Schlotterbeck was hit by a pitch to earn an RBI the hard way before Scharenbroch cleared the bases with a three-run double for an 11-3 lead. Taylor walked, Ruppenthal hit a two-run single, Wilson singled and Downes capped the inning with an RBI double for a stunning 14-3 advantage.

“We really had no cheap hits in that inning, they were all solid base hits,” Barr said. “Bryce (Scharenbroch) had a monster game hitting out of the nine-hole. I can go down the lineup and point out 11 kids who all hit the ball hard. It was a great team win, probably the best we’ve had.”

Taylor got the win on the mound, going the distance and allowing four runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two.

“He had not thrown one inning in All-Stars yet, and he stepped up,” Barr said. “His teammates needed him to step up today, and he wanted the ball. I knew he could get the job done and he threw an outstanding game today.”

Hagerstown scored its final run in the fifth. Brooks Keller hit a one-out single, took second on a groundout and scored on Scharenbroch’s RBI single.

Tijuana needed three runs in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game going, but managed just one. Jonathan Aranda hit a one-out double, Alex Kirk singled and Osvaldo Lopez hit a sacrifice fly.

Tijuana took a 2-0 lead in the first on Aranda’s single, Kirk’s RBI double and Lopez’s RBI single.

Hagerstown cut the lead to 2-1 in the second. Matthew Harsh and Kyler led off with singles and Schlotterbeck hit a one-out RBI single.

Tijuana increased its lead to 3-1 in the third on a walk and an error in center field, before Hagerstown busted the game open in the fourth.

Hagerstown finished with 19 hits. Downes had three hits — two of them doubles — and drove in three, Schlotterbeck had three hits and three RBIs, Ruppenthal had three hits and two RBIs, and Wilson added three hits. Scharenbroch had two doubles and four RBIs, and Harsh had two hits and an RBI.

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