WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The clock has struck midnight on Hagerstown’s Cinderella run after a 10-0 loss on Tuesday in the Little League World Series sends the regional champion boys back home to Indiana.
The heartbreaking loss came on the wings of the Hagerstown boys being only a single run away from earning their shot at the U.S. championship on Monday afternoon. After rallying back against Southeast Region to tie the game in the sixth inning, Hagerstown came up short of ending the game, despite having runners on bases, and instead went on to lose in extra innings.
On Tuesday, Hagerstown had a final shot to stay alive, but awaiting them in the elimination bracket was Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic Region champions.
Coming into the elimination game, Hagerstown — champions of the Great Lakes Region — won a nail-biting matchup against Midwest Region with an 8-7 win on a walk-off run before coming up short to Southwest Region.
Their opponent on Tuesday afternoon — Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, (Mid-Atlantic Region) — found themselves in the elimination bracket early after losing to Southwest Region but already notched two victories to stave off being sent home with a 7-5 win over New England Region and a 7-1 win over Metro region.
While Hoosiers hoped Hagerstown could bounce back after a tough loss, Hollidaysburg continued their streak of staying alive with their back against the wall and delivered a decisive win against team Indiana with the game being called early due to a 10-0 lead before the fifth inning.
Despite the loss, the Hagerstown boys still had a remarkable run that has earned praise from all across the state and even earned the boys shoutouts from professional athletes like NBA star Desmond Bane (the Richmond native plays for the Memphis Grizzlies) and MLB star Tucker Barnhart (a Brownsburg native who plays for the Detroit Tigers).
Hagerstown batted first, but Hollidaysburg’s pitcher threw nothing but strikes to start the game and sent the first batter back to the dugout with a strikeout. Hagerstown’s Kaden Hall cranked a ball deep though as the second batter but Hollidaysburg held strong and escaped the top of the first without Hagerstown scoring.
Graham Vinson started off on the mound for Hagerstown, the team scoring their first out on a flyball caught in right field. Hollidaysburg got on the board first, though, with a long drive home run from their second batter. With bases loaded, Hollidaysburg drive a ground ball up the gap and scored another run before Hagerstown chased down a runner racing in for home to close the first inning 0-2.
Hagerstown scored a base hit after gaining an out from a pop-up to start the second inning. Hollidaysburg’s strong defense and sharp pitching prevented Hagerstown from scoring once more, however.
Vinson started the bottom of the second with seven straight balls for Hagerstown. A ground ball then put two runners on with no outs. A missed attempt at a tag of a runner led to another score and a hit into shallow right meant Hollidaysburg widened the lead 0-4 to end the second.
Hagerstown started the third inning rough with two straight outs, but were able to give themselves a chance at scoring by getting the next two runners on base before a throw to first shut Indiana down.
Jaykob Troutwine took over pitching for Hagerstown in the bottom of the third. Hollidaysburg blasted a ground ball past the pitcher and second base to bring in another run, bringing the score to 0-5. A foot race to home plate was called safe for Hollidaysburg and the lead widened further to 0-6.
Hollidaysburg’s pitcher Braden Hatch continued to give Hagerstown batters trouble and team Indiana failed to get on the board in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, the game went into rain delay with Hollidaysburg up 0-6 over Hagerstown.
The game resumed after a rain delay at 6:12 p.m. Hollidaysburg scored once more after a hit into right field brought in a runner on third to take the lead to 0-7. Hollidaysburg didn’t take long after returning from the rain delay to end the game, jumping up to 10-0 leading to the game being called.