Hagerstown Little League Majors win District 6

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Dan Harney

Roster members: Preston Allred, Nolan Cheeseman, Bentley George, Benjamin Golliher, Jonah Hale, Kaden Hall, Heath Johnson, Hayden Moore, Carter Sullivan, Clark Thornburg, Jaycob Troutwine, Graham Vinson and Gavin White. Manager Patrick Vinson, Coaches Pat Allred and Jesse Johnson.

There is an old saying that water seeks its own level. The same holds true in sports. Hagerstown fell behind 3-0 to a good New Castle team Tuesday evening. The boys from Hagerstown shook it off and roared back to score the next 13 runs and claim the District 6 Little League Majors Championship, punching their ticket to the State Tournament to be played at New Castle.
Hagerstown Manager Patrick Vinson said even though New Castle took an early lead, his team never got rattled. “These kids don’t get down if they fall behind,” Vinson said. “I never doubted that they were going to score runs.”
The first two batters for New Castle singled, and the next batter was hit by a pitch to load the bases. All three eventually scored before Hagerstown made a pitching change, bringing in hard throwing Kaden Hall with one out, and the bases loaded. Hall struck out the only two batters he faced, to end the threat.
New Castle drew two walks in the second inning, but they were both stranded when Hall struck out three more batters to push his strikeout total to five, in two innings. In the third inning Hall fed the New Castle batters a steady diet of 70-75 mile per hour fast balls to strike out the side.
With New Castle still clinging to a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning, Hagerstown exploded for seven runs. Clark Thornburg opened the inning with a solid single to right field. Jaykob Troutwine followed by hitting the first pitch he saw over the fence for a two-run homerun. Hall smacked a one out double down the third base line and the next four batters drew walks. After a New Castle pitching change Hayden Moore greeted the new hurler with a 2 RBI double, and Thornburg singled over third base. By the time New Castle finally recorded the third out, Hagerstown had sent 12 batters to the plate, scored seven runs and took complete control of the game.
To make matters worse for the boys in Green, Hall again struck out the side in the top of the fourth on only 12 pitches. Hall, Nolan Cheeseman and Troutwine each had base hits and Gavin White drove in a run with a hard-hit ground ball in the bottom of the fourth to extend the Hagerstown advantage to 11-3.
Hall recorded two more strikeouts in the top of the fifth inning to push his total for the game to 13.
Hagerstown ended the game in the bottom of the fifth. A walk, a single from Hall, an RBI ground out and a walk off wild pitch that scored Hall, gave Hagerstown a 13-3 win.
Vinson talked about Hall and the support his team gave him at the plate. “Not many kids can catch up with Hall’s speed,” Vinson observed. “Once our bats came to life, the guys stepped on the throttle and pulled away. This is a very good group of kids.”
When Vinson was asked if he saw playing the state tournament games so close to home might be an advantage for Hagerstown, he had a quick answer. “Yes, geographically it is a big plus. The kids love that, and they will feed off it. They all know what their jobs are and if everyone does their job, I think we will be fine.” Hagerstown may have another advantage. When Hagerstown won the Indiana State Tournament in 2013, Patrick Vinson was the Manager.
Cheeseman, Jonah Hale and Troutwine each supplied base hits. Hall and Thornburg each had two base hits and Hale, Hayden Moore, Troutwine and White each drove in runs for the boys in purple.
Ten district champions will converge on the New Castle Little League facility for the state tournament that begins July 22 and runs through July 27. Hagerstown will square off against District 5 Champion Jeffersonville on July 22 @ 2:00 in their opening game of the double elimination tournament.

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