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Murrayhill falls in opener

A first-inning grand slam lifts Portsmouth, NH, past Murrayhill 6-1

WILLIAMSPORT, PA -- The 2006 Little League Baseball World Series started with a resounding thud for the Murrayhill Majors all-stars today.

Murrayhill, the District 4, Oregon and Northwest Regional champions, saw Portsmouth race out to a 6-0 lead and keep Murrayhill at arm's length the rest of the way en route to a 6-1 victory at Lamade Stadium.

The loss means that Murrayhill will need to win its next two pool play games to reach the tournament semifinals.

Portsmouth, the New England representative, started at a dead-run against Murrayhill and starter Devon DeJardin, putting together three hits and scoring five runs in the top of the first inning, the big hit of the frame a grand slam home run to right field by Billy Hartman.

Portsmouth added another run in the top of the second to make it 6-0, then rode the two-hit, 14-strikeout performance of Jordan Bean home for the victory.

DeJardin accounted for Murrayhill's lone run when he homered to lead off the bottom of the second. Derek Keller, who came on in relief of DeJardin in the first added his team's other hit and allowed just two hits, six walks and one hit batter while striking out six.

For a complete story and photos from the World Series, please see Thursday's edition of the Valley Times.