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9-10 Tournament: Federal raises flag with rally to turn back Maugansville

June 27, 2013|By WILL ROBINSON | will.robinson@herald-mail.com

MAUGANSVILLE — The Federal 9-10 All-Stars have just one thing going through their minds in the Maryland District 1 Little League Tournament: Survival.

Coming into the sixth inning of Thursday’s game down 17-10 to Maugansville, Federal (4-1) exploded for 14 runs in the top of the frame and locked down the bottom to earn a 24-21 victory and a trip to the losers’ bracket final against West End today at 6 p.m.

“That’s this team. They took a first-round loss to Conococheague, but they kept winning ballgames. They won’t quit,” said Federal manager Tim Kolb.

Federal’s huge sixth was a result of incredible plate discipline as they drew eight walks while bringing 18 batters to the plate. The inning was highlighted by a three-run single by Michael Keats and a three-run double by Trae Grove.

“Coming into the inning we were going to take strike one, but we kept waiting and drew the walks,” said Kolb. “When (Maugansville) made a mistake we made them pay. Two times we cleared with the bases loaded.”

Maugansville (3-2) made things interesting in the bottom of the inning, as Tyler Richardson scored on a fielder’s choice and C.J. Hart cranked a three-run homer to left field to cut the deficit to three. However, Keats forced a pop out to the catcher and a fly out to center field to preserve the victory. Keats led Federal with four RBIs and pitched two innings of relief.

“What helps this team is the returners from last year’s team, like Keats. They can calm the rest of the kids down,” said Kolb. “They don’t panic, and when the rest of the kids see that, they don’t panic.”

Maugansville jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by two-run doubles by Hart and Ian Klick. Federal cut Maugansville’s lead to 8-7 with six runs in the second inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Braden Kolb.

Maugansville answered with four runs in the bottom of the second inning and scored at least one run in every inning thereafter. Hart and Klick each had five RBIs for Maugansville.

If Thursday’s game was any indication, Federal’s 9-10 All-Stars will have a sea of red and blue behind their dugout tonight.

“I have to thank the fans. They get loud and when they get loud, they have an effect on us,” said Kolb. “We’re just going to keep battling out there.”

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