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Losch honored for longtime service

By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published August 5, 2007


GULFPORT - Joe Losch, who served with Little League for 40 years, was honored before the tournament's first game. Losch, Little League's executive vice president and corporate secretary, received a crystal statue with the names of Southern Region's eight states on it. Losch also tossed a perfect strike for the opening pitch of the tournament.

OUCH! Tennessee's Justin Brandon lost a tooth after hitting his mouth while diving for a ball in leftfield. ... West Virginia's Andy Mochabee left the game and was taken to the hospital after being hit by a pitch in the elbow, but he is expected to return to the lineup today. ... Virginia pitcher Brian Baumgartner was hit on his throwing elbow while batting and may have a fracture. His status for the remainder of the tournament is doubtful.

BEST PITCHER: Bradley Roepke pitched just four innings due to hitting his pitch count, but he was dominant. Roepke fanned nine batters and gave up two hits during that stretch.

BEST HITTER: This was tough, but it goes to Florida's Pat Pinak. He finished 2-for-2 with a pair of homers - including a grand slam - and collected seven RBIs.

HOME RUN HITTERS: Bradley Emery and Pinak, 2 (Fla.); Cameron Snow, Jake Kusz (N.C.); Alex Etherton, Kyle Morella (S.C.); Alan Mochabee, 2 (W.Va.); Kendall Scott (Ga.); Trey Burks, Bradley Roepke (Tenn.).

LONG BALL OF THE DAY: West Virginia's Alan Mochabee's second home run of the day was colossal: His shot cleared the 70-foot light tower beyond the left centerfield fence.

DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE DAY: With the tying run on second, Blake Elmore hit a shot down the third-base line that looked like an extra-base hit. But Hunter Jackson smothered the ball then crawled to third to touch the base for the force out that ended the game.