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Hagerstown 8U team grabs tournament title

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Carter Powell of the Hagerstown 8U All-Star Team smiles with his hands full after Monday night’s championship game of the Indiana District 6 8U Tournament on New Castle Little League’s lower diamond, as he wears the medal and holds the ball for being named his team’s MVP and the trophy he received for his team winning the title with an 8-5 victory over Cambridge City.
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Players and coaches of the Hagerstown Little League 8U All-Star Team are all smiles as the players display the trophies they received for winning Monday night’s championship game of the 8U Indiana District 6 Tournament against Cambridge City 8-5 on New Castle Little League’s lower diamond. Hagerstown went 5-0 during the four-day tournament.

By DAN HARNEY - For The Courier-Times

When Hagerstown and Cambridge City locked horns for the 8U Indiana District 6 Little League Tournament championship Monday night in New Castle, there was a lot at stake. The programs in the two communities have been rivals for generations. Bragging rights were on the line, as well as the trophy, and both teams turned in a great effort.

Tournament No. 2 seed Hagerstown and No. 4 seed Cambridge City both lit up the scoreboard in their semifinal games en route to the title game, combining for 28 runs, but this game – won by the Tigers 8-5 – boiled down to defense.

Hagerstown MVP Carter Powell was a defensive stopper, making several key plays to keep Cambridge City off the scoreboard while Hagerstown built an 8-0 lead. Cambridge City fought back with five runs in the final three innings, but Hagerstown held it off to hoist the team trophy.

Both teams had baserunners in the first inning, but neither could score. Ryan Dalyrymple singled for Hagerstown but was thrown out at second when he tried to stretch it into a double. Carter Sullivan singled for Cambridge City in the bottom of the inning but was forced out at second on the next play.

Hagerstown exploded for five runs in the top of the second inning to break up the scoreless tie, and it was very efficient in the frame. Timely hitting and aggressive running on the base paths built the lead. Powell, Preston Allred, Hudson Anderson, Brody Benson and Joey Howard all hit safely and all five scored before the inning ended because of the maximum five-run rule.

Corbin Lambert stroked a single for Cambridge City in the bottom of the second inning, but he was stranded. Hagerstown added a single run in the top of the third inning when Bentley George hammered a ball to deep center field and eventually came around to score.

Cambridge City went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third with Powell making two of the three putouts.

Hagerstown pushed its lead to 8-0 in the top of the fourth inning. Dalyrymple led off the inning with a single. He was forced out at second, but Jonah Hale replaced him at first when he reached on a fielder’s choice. One out later Powell joined him on base and Allred stroked a two-RBI double to plate both Hale and Powell.

Hagerstown did not score again, and Cambridge City started to whittle away at its deficit. Parker Brewer, Carter Sullivan and Clark Thornburg, who was named the Cambridge City MVP, each hit safely in the bottom of the fourth. Cambridge City put two runs on the scoreboard to end the shut-out.

Hagerstown could manage only a hit from Hayden White in the top half of the fifth. Cambridge City did not fare any better in the bottom of the inning. Lambert led off with his second hit of the game, but the next three batters went down in order, leaving Cambridge City trailing 8-2 entering the sixth and final inning.

Hagerstown got singles from Dalyrymple and Hale in the top of the inning but Dalyrymple was thrown out at home to end the inning. There was no quit in Cambridge City, however. Colton Callahan, Wyatt Hayes and Brewer hit back-to-back-to back one-out singles and all three eventually scored. But, the final two batters flew out to end the game.

Cambridge City Manager Devon Lambert said his team played hard but struggled to hit the ball out of the infield in the early innings.

“We have been hitting well,” Lambert observed, “but tonight, especially early, we kept popping the ball up to them. Our big hitters did not drive the ball like they normally do, and Hagerstown played very well defensively. If you can’t hit the ball out of the infield, it is hard to score runs. I am pleased with our effort. I think these kids have a bright future.”

Hagerstown Manager Jay Hale said his team made the defensive plays necessary to win the title.

“Everybody on our team played great defense, especially Carter Powell.” Hale said. “When Carter is on his game, it is hard to get the ball by him. I knew this game would be a battle. Cambridge City always plays us tough. We knew that they would grind it out to the end, but our kids wanted this game. We came together as a team and I am very proud of them.’’