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Conococheague wins third 11-12 title in five years

July 10, 2013|By CURT HORNBECKER | curt.hornbecker@herald-mail.com
  • Sharpsburg base runner T.J. Reeder, right, is out at second base as Conococheague infielder Justin Taylor, left, gets the force out in the top of the fourth inning on Wednesday during Conococheague's 10-5 victory to win the Maryland District 1 title.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

SHARPSBURG — For Pat Taylor, Wednesday was a good night to get wet.

The Conococheague Little League manager was doused with a bucket of ice water after his club secured the league’s third Maryland District 1 11-12 baseball championship in five years — and fifth overall — with a 10-5 win over Sharpsburg.

Maddux Grove delivered the key blow with a grand slam in the second for a 6-2 lead, and Conococheague never looked back.

“That grand slam was enormous and it came from a kid we don’t expect to hit grand slams,” Taylor said. “For (Grove) to come up with that in that situation was tremendous.”

Sharpsburg manager Rodney Burgan agreed Grove’s shot was a critical point in the game.

“My kids seemed to get a little angry (after the grand slam),” said Burgan. “We didn’t get down, but (Conococheague) seemed to get up. That little morale boost made a big difference.”

Sharpsburg starter Peyton Mason struggled with his control early in the game, yielding six runs in the first two innings, but he seemed to right the ship before being pulled in the third due to an elevated pitch count.

“That boy (Mason) has a lot of guts,” said Taylor. “That’s asking a lot of an 11 year-old kid. I appreciate the way he plays the game.”

After Dalton Shank singled to open the game for Sharpsburg, Ryan Nolan powered a two-out home run for a 2-0 lead.

But Conococheague responded when Ryan Greene walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a Grove single. Grove advanced to second on the throw, putting runners on second and third. Both scored on wild pitches.

In the second, Alonzo Coleman opened with a single. Mason managed to get the next two hitters, but infield singles by Josh Gerber and Greene set the stage for Grove’s grand slam.

Conococheague made it 9-2 in the third when Jaustin Itnyre singled and scored on a home run to center by Coleman. Justin Taylor followed with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Gerber single.

A solo shot by Mason made it 9-3 in the fourth and a T.J. Kalagher home run closed the gap to 9-5.

Greene drove in Skylar Whittington in the bottom of the fifth for Conococheague’s 10th run.

Sharpsburg was just one victory away from notching its first-ever 11-12 district title.

“These 13 kids all played together,” said Burgan. “I told them after the game that I’d go to battle with them any time. This is an emotional loss.”

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