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The Aegis
Harford County

Hawaii, Alabama join other semifinalists as Ripken Series pool play ends

Charles County Maryland player Rico Cuevas points out Cal Ripken Jr. on the balcony of the hotel to his teammates after Wednesday's game against NE on Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Wednesday's final day of pool play at the 2015 Cal Ripken World Series fit the final pieces to the puzzle needed for Thursday's United States and International semifinals.

Despite a final day loss, East Brandywine, Pa., claimed the National Division top seed with its 3-1 record. West Raleigh, N.C., also went 3-1, but with its loss to East Brandywine, fell to the number two seed.

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West Raleigh, a World Series champion in 2014, will open Thursday's U.S. semis against American Division top seed, Manoa, Hawaii, which topped its division with an 4-0 mark. Game time is 12:30 p.m.

East Brandywine will face Mobile, Ala., (3-1) in the other U.S. semi at 5:30 p.m.

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The International semifinals were set at the conclusion of Tuesday's play. Japan (3-0) and Dominican Republic (2-1) moved on from Group C, while Mexico (3-0) and Republic of Korea (2-1) advanced from Group D.

Republic of Korea will face Japan at 3 p.m., while Dominican Republic and Mexico will meet in the day's last semifinal at 8 p.m.

All games will be played on Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Hickory gets another win

Hickory, the tournament host team from Harford County, finished National Division pool play even at 2-2 and in third place after an exciting, 10-9, win over West Fargo, N.D. (0-4), on Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Hickory scored three runs in three different innings, but it was the final three off the bat of catcher Parker Smith that pushed Hickory into the win column.

With the score tied at 7 in the top of inning number five, Smith drilled a long, three-run homer just inside the left field foul pole to put Hickory back ahead in the see-saw game.

"I knew he wasn't throwing very hard and I was looking for something soft, so I could just sit back on it and drive it," Smith said, moments after receiving player of the game honors for Hickory. "And then I got my pitch and I just drove it out there."

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Smith was a bit surprised at how far he hit it. "I usually don't hit it that far on inside pitches, but I guess it just happened tonight," he said.

West Fargo scored two in the bottom of the inning off winning pitcher Charlie Hafer, but Austin Carr came on in relief to shut down the rally. Carr hit a batter in the sixth, but Smith threw the runner out at second on a steal attempt to end the game.

Hafer added two hits, two RBIs and three runs scored for Hickory, while David Hanifee added two hits and an RBI Gabriel Howard added a double and two RBIs.

Brayden Jacobsen homered for West Fargo and scored three times. Drew Clouse and Carter Birrenkott had two hits and an RBI each and Quade Peters, one of the smallest players in this year's series, tripled in a run and scored on the same play on a throwing error.

Manoa rolls past Meridian

Manoa assured itself of the top seed with an 12-2, four-inning win over Meridian, Idaho, which finished 2-2.

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Meridian scored twice in the top of the first, but it was all Manoa from there. The Hawaiians were shut out in their first at bat, but scored one, seven and four runs over the next three innings respectively.

Stanley McKenzie (2-3, 3 RBIs) and Jayden Soriano delivered the big blows, each hitting home runs out of Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Lee Matsuzaki was 3-for-3 and Kalea Harrison was 2-for-2. Darian Kamibayashi added two RBIs.

Meridian was limited to three hits, by McKay Anderson, Tommy Whiles and Brayden Rundell. Jacob Hughes had an RBI.

Soriano pitched all four innings for the win. Mason Kielty pitched into the third in taking the loss.

Illinois stops Pennsylvania

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With a 5-4 win in National Division play at Cal Sr.'s Yard, Illinois Valley, Ill., (2-2) dealt East Brandywine, Pa., its lone pool play loss.

Kadon Harth blasted a three-run home run as part of an four-run first inning for the winners. Tresdon Rybarczyk and Rafael Macias both went 3-for-3 and it was Rybarczyk's third hit, a single, that plated the eventual winning run.

East Brandywine fell behind 5-0, but came back, only to fall short.

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Lonnie White homered in the loss and Nate DiRocco added a pair of doubles and an RBI.

Harth also pitched five and a third innings to earn the win. Shane Reynolds got the final two outs for a save. Five pitchers worked for East Brandywine, with starter Chase Reardon getting the loss.

Maryland gets win

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Maryland representative Charles County (1-3) collected its first win, beating Exeter, N.H., (0-4), 4-2, on Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Tyler Moody's two doubles and two RBIs led Charles County, who were out-hit, 8-7.

Josh Morissette had two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs for Exeter. Cy LeClerc also had two hits.

On the mound, Trevon Hayes was the winner and Morissette the loser. Both pitched five innings.


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