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The 10U Hustlers continued their solid CRAB League play with a Saturday sweep over a tough MD Warrior team by the scores of 4-0 and 13-1. Justin Ropp (Yellow Springs) and Andrew McElwain (St Johns) each tossed three innings in the opener and combined on a three-hitter. The defense took care of the rest as they came up with a variety of big plays including a relay from right-center to cut down a runner at third, a highlight catch by Riley Donovan (Tuscarora) in center, and an inning-ending 4-6 double-play to thwart another rally. JT Sachar (Green Valley), Mikhai Evans (North Frederick), Dustin Isanogle (Lewistown), and Brandon Buschman (Walkersville) each had a hit; Matt Cunningham (Green Valley) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The Hustler bats came to life in game two. Sachar set the table and was on base all three plate appearances. Evans had two doubles and a walk, Cunningham had a bases-clearing double to deep left center, and Isanogle doubled in a run of his own. Ropp and Ryan Bennett (St Johns) each contributed singles. Joseph Pippin (Green Valley) and Cunningham handled the pitching duties and both were superb, once again holding a good hitting ball club to three hits and one run.
The Hustlers are back in action on Thursday and Friday in Aberdeen, MD for the Ripken “In The Zone” Tournament.
The Frederick Hustlers 10U hadn’t played a game in over a week so a trip to Olney to take on the always tough and well-coached Pirates seemed like a tall order. The young Hustlers answered with their trademark play: solid pitching, great defense and timely hitting. The result was a 3-2 signature win for the first year team. Matt Cunningham (Green Valley) got things going in the first when he doubled to the corner in right chasing home Justin Ropp (Yellow Springs) who had drawn a tough two-out walk. The Pirates tied the score at one in the fourth only to see the Hustlers respond with two of their own. Mikhai Evans (North Frederick) walked and stole second before Ropp singled up the middle. Ropp moved up to third with some heady base running before Andrew McElwain (St. Johns) delivered a key sacrifice fly. Ropp, McElwain, Joseph Pippin (Oakdale), JT Sachar (Green Valley) and Brandon Buschman (Walkersville) shared the pitching duties and all were effective. Sachar got the win and Buschman picked up the save. The Pirates outhit the Hustlers 6-3. Dustin Isanogle (Lewistown) had the other Hustler hit.
The Hustlers travel to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware this weekend for Sports at the Beach’s Clash of the Titans Tournament.
The 10U Hustlers played like champions on Sunday and came away with the 2014 Dig In Invitational Tournament Championship. The day started at 9:00am with a 7-4 win over Gambrills. The young Hustlers then put together one of their most complete games of the season and beat the #2 seed - a very good team out of Winchester, VA - 10-0. The Hustlers then waited for the winner of the other side of the bracket where the HCYP Raiders of the CRAB League nipped the tournament host Dig In team by a score of 9-7. The Hustlers refused to lose and won their first tournament crown by beating a well-coached HCYP Raider team 8-2.
The Hustler’s alarm clock sounded in the second inning of game one on Sunday. Trailing 2-0, Matt Cunningham (Green Valley) and Andrew McElwain (St Johns) got things started with back-to-back singles. Joseph Pippin (Oakdale) then created chaos by introducing the bunt game. Pippin laid down a perfectly placed bunt to load the bases. After a fielder’s choice at the plate, the Hustlers turned to the safety squeeze and Ryan Bennett (St Johns) laid down a gem. Riley Donovan (Tuscarora) moved the runners over before JT Sachar (Green Valley), Mikhai Evans (North Frederick), Cunningham and McElwain produced run-scoring singles. When the inning was over, the Hustlers had put a 7-spot on the board and turned to their pitching and defense. Justin Ropp (Yellow Springs), McElwain and Brandon Buschman (Walkersville) all pitched great in the win.
The Hustlers got an immediate scare in game two. Winchester’s leadoff hitter laced a line drive off the starting pitcher Mikhai Evans. Evans had to leave the game but returned later to take his place in CF. Meanwhile, Cunningham came on and tossed three shutout innings. The Hustler bats went to work getting one in the third when Sachar walked and stole two bases, and two more in the fourth when Ropp walked, Cunningham singled and McElwain doubled. The Hustlers scored four more in the fifth and three in the sixth to make in 10-0. Meanwhile, Ropp, McElwain and Pippin combined to slam the door on the Winchester bats. Sachar finished 1-1 with three runs scored, Ropp went 2-3 with two runs, and Cunningham and McElwain each had two hits.
The Championship game was against a familiar League foe in HCYP who the Hustlers have struggled with some in this young season. The Hustlers however responded and played like this game had a little more purpose. After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Hustlers came back swinging and got even at two apiece in the second. Evans gave his team the juice it needed by bouncing one over the fence in left center for a standup double to start the third. Ropp followed with single, McElwain doubled, Pippin got hit-by-the-pitch, and Dustin Isanogle (Lewistown) singled. The Hustlers then turned to their trademark pitching and defense with Ropp, McElwain and Cunningham each pitching like they weren’t willing to settle for anything less than the championship. The Hustlers kept the momentum going when Cunningham, McElwain and Pippin led off the fifth with consecutive singles. After a walk to Isanogle, Bennett scorched one to left and Zach Rutter (Middletown) singled to left center. The Raiders went quietly in the sixth and the young 10U Hustlers, playing in their first tournament ever, collected their championship trophies.
The Hustlers split two close games on Saturday to pick up the third seed in the eight team tournament for Championship Sunday. Isanogle caught all five of the Hustler games over the weekend and was so incredibly good. Sachar pitched an awesome complete game two on Saturday which allowed the Hustlers to have their full arsenal of starters available on Sunday.
The Frederick Hustlers completed a doubleheader sweep of a tough Mason Dixon RuffNeck squad from York, PA with a clutch 5-4 win in game two on Saturday. The Hustlers were late to wake up in the opener trailing 2-0 early but a six run third inning proved the difference as they came away with a 10-4 victory. Matt Cunningham (Green Valley), Joseph Pippin (Oakdale) and Mikhai Evans (North Frederick) handled the pitching duties while the offense went to work. Leadoff man JT Sachar (Green Valley) started the 3rd inning with a line drive to left and the Hustlers were off and running. Evans followed with a walk and Justin Ropp (Yellow Springs) singled. Another clutch hit by Dustin Isanogle (Lewiston) sandwiched around two Mason Dixon errors where Andrew McElwain (St Johns) and Ryan Bennett (St Johns) squared up balls and the Hustlers found themselves with a workable cushion. Sachar and Ropp each had two hits and scored two runs while Evans was on base all three times (error, walk and single) and scored two runs. Cunningham, McElwain and Isanogle each recorded a hit.
Game two turned out to be quite a pitcher’s duel. Justin Ropp tossed the first three innings and was sharp as always. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out five Ruffnecks. The game stayed at 1-0 Mason Dixon until the 4th inning when the Hustlers plated two runs. Hayden Bailey (Walkersville) got things going with a single. With two outs, JT Sachar and Mikhai Evans ripped back to back hits and the Hustlers took a 2-1 lead. The Hustlers than got a leadoff double from cleanup hitter Matt Cunningham to open up the fifth inning. Not to be outdone, Dustin Isanogle smoked one to left center for a triple and Ryan Bennett drew a critical 2-out walk. Brandon Buschman then stepped to the plate and delivered the key hit of the day - a line drive 2-run single to center to plate Isanogle and Bennett and give the Hustlers a 5-1. The Ruffnecks were not impressed and responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to make it a 5-4 game. The Hustlers tried to add one in the sixth but the Ruffnecks turned a nifty double play on a smoked liner by Sachar after a key SAC bunt by Riley Donovan (Tuscarora). The Hustlers then went to work on the defense side. Brandon Buschman struck out the cleanup hitter and then Andrew McElwain and Joseph Pippin turned in plays for ESPN Sportscenter. McElwain made a game saving diving catch on a ball hit to the fence in right field and Pippen jumped and snagged a liner header to the right field corner to end the game. Donovan also made a nice running catch earlier in the game in centerfield to thwart a Mason Dixon rally. Ropp, McElwain and Buschman all pitched well and Bennett was his superb self behind the plate.
The Hustlers are back in action Wednesday evening against the HCYP Raiders at the Yellow Springs Baseball Complex.