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Tigers, Royals Advance in Sectional
May 28, 2008 - Hagerstown went hitless for five innings and had been shut out for six frames before a dramatic rally in the seventh inning gave them a 3-2 win over seventh-ranked Union County Monday night.
Two-time defending sectional champion Hagerstown trailed 2-0 heading into the final frame.
The game was the last of four first-round battles at the Class 2A Northeastern Sectional.
Ross Sharp came to the plate with the bases loaded and his team still trailing 2-1 when he hit a two-out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Tigers the win over Union County.
Centerville and Eastern Hancock both won their first round games and were scheduled to play Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals. Knightstown (14-8) was slated to play Hagerstown (19-11) at 6:15, weather permitting.
The championship game is at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Zach Smith drove in Chad Carrell in the fifth inning to put the Patriots ahead of the Tigers 1-0. Smith’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning gave the Patriots a 2-0 lead and at the time, that appeared to be all Union County pitching ace Michael Sustarsic would need. He had retired 15 straight hitters through five innings. Sharp reached on an error to lead off the game, and Sustarsic was untouchable through the next five frames.
Kurtis Grandison broke up the no-hitter by leading off the sixth inning with a single, but was stranded on base.
The Tiger rally started up when Zach Favorite led off the seventh inning with a double. Sam Wilson followed then ripped another double that drove in pinch-runner Dylan Bane, putting the Tigers on the board for the first time.
Wilson advanced to third base on a wild pitch and then Bryant DeBaun hit a single.
Two outs later, Grandison followed with a single and Chris Doyen was walked to load the bases for Sharp.
Union County left 14 runners on base in the game.
Eastern Hancock won its first round game against Shenandoah, getting an outstanding outing from Jeff Ryan. The 9-16 Royals used Ryan’s arm to keep the Raider bats under control. Ryan struck out 12 hitters and walked just one.
Ryan also provided the big blow with his bat in the third inning. The two-out rally was started by Jacob Low, who drew a walk. Lucas Brown followed that with a single, and Ryan blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence to put the Royals up 3-0.
Raider Jerrod Moore singled home Zach Young to cut the lead to 3-1 in the sixth inning. But Ryan settled down and fanned the next two Shenandoah batters to end the rally.
Low then belted a solo home run in the seventh inning to give Eastern Hancock an insurance run that they would definitely need because the Raiders weren’t done.
Luke Hamm’s single got things started in the bottom of the seventh with a single. With two outs, Clayton Phipps blasted a two-run homer that trimmed the lead to 4-3.
Ryan closed the door by retiring the next batter and giving the Royals a win in the sectional.
The Royals played Centerville Tuesday night.
Tri High advanced in the Class A sectional at Monroe Central by defeating Randolph Southern 1-0. Caleb Hinshaw pitched out of a two-on, two-out situation in the final inning by striking out the last Rebel to end the game.
Hinshaw pitched a masterful contest, striking out 15 hitters and enabling the Titans to gain revenge for an earlier season loss to Randolph Southern. Tri scored the only run of the game when Dillon Creason singled home A.J. Steward in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Titans were scheduled, weather permitting, to play host Monroe Central Tuesday evening.
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