Salisbury team heads to Williamsport

The Baltimore Sun

Folks in Salisbury figure their town is more than just a rest stop for beach-goers.

They've got a baseball team to prove it.

The kids from West Salisbury have reached the 2007 Little League World Series, which begins today in Williamsport, Pa.

One of 16 teams in the international tournament, West Salisbury - the Mid-Atlantic champion - plays Chandler, Ariz., the West winner, in a first-round game at 3 p.m. tomorrow. The game will be televised on Channel 2 (ABC).

It's the first trip to Williamsport for West Salisbury (16-4), a bunch of 11- and 12-year-old all-stars whose postseason play has been marked by cliff-hanger victories. Trailing 3-2 in the last inning of the Maryland state final, West Salisbury hit back-to-back home runs to defeat Elkton Community, 4-3.

Then, in the regional semifinal, they fought back from a 5-2 deficit to score nine times in the fifth inning and defeat Maine-Endwell (N.Y.), 11-10.

"This team doesn't quit," said West Salisbury manager Chris Yingling, 45, whose club was seeded fourth in the regionals. "If they're down late in the game, they know they can come back."

In its last game, West Salisbury scored all of its runs in the sixth (and final) inning to defeat Richboro, Pa., 4-0. Craig East, a 12-year-old righthander, pitched a two-hitter and hit a two-run home run for the first-time regional champs.

"Every kid dreams of making it [to Williamsport]" Yingling said yesterday. "Did I think we would get here? Not really. Have the kids put in the effort? Yes. They've earned what they've gotten."

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