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Funkstown Legion wins

June 10, 1999

Funkstown vs. WilliamsportBy DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Correspondent

photo: MARLA BROSE / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - Twelve straight games. Twelve straight losses.

That was the streak Funkstown Legion Post 211 had against Williamsport Legion Post 202 since 1996.

That was the streak Funkstown ended on Thursday, getting two homers from John Schnebly and three innings of solid relief from Billy Keyes in a 12-9 win at Williamsport High School.

[cont. from sports page]

"The last couple of years, they always seemed to come out on the winning end, and we finally beat them this time," Funkstown coach Darryl Powell said.

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Funkstown (12-1) broke out to a seven-run lead after three innings. P.J. Hiser blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, a moonshot well past 315-foot mark in left field.

An RBI double by Jon Showe and an RBI groundout by Danny Fowler made the score 5-1 after two. Schnebly led off the third with his first homer of the day, and an error and an RBI single by Brandon Boger made it 8-1.

And then, as if Alfred Hitchcock wrote the script, strange things started happening.

It started innocently enough. In the bottom of the fourth, Les Martin singled and John Quail walked to start things off for Williamsport (7-4).

Then things became ominous, as an error on Fowler allowed Ricky Myers to reach and Martin to score.

Then it became unusual, as Hiser hit both Duane Kline and Ryan Acre to force in a run. Another error by Fowler allowed Matt Bowman to reach base and brought in Myers. A wild pitch then scored Kline.

J.R. Fitzwater hit a sacrifice fly to score Acre, and Isaac Henry followed with an RBI single to plate Bowman.

Henry scored the final run by stealing second, advancing to third on a passed ball, and stealing home as Martin, who walked in his second at-bat of the inning, broke for second.

Eleven batters, two hits, two walks, two errors, and two hit batters after the inning began, Williamsport had tied the score, 8-8.

"Any time you get seven runs on two hits, you have to feel fortunate," Williamsport coach Scott Jennings said.

"We jumped out with the 7-0 lead, and we kind of got lax," Powell said. "It happens. It was ugly. I've seen other stuff before, but that was ... that was definitely ugly."

But Williamsport hadn't delivered a mortal blow. That was reserved for Schnebly's bat.

Tied at 9-9 in the sixth, Schnebly hit the game-winning two-run homer to center to send Williamsport down the drain.

"We got back in the game, but right away, they got back up," Jennings said. "We tied it up, be we couldn't hold them down."

While Williamsport couldn't keep Funkstown down, Billy Keyes shut down Williamsport's bats. He threw the last three innings in relief, allowing one run, two hits and one walk while striking out the side in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

"Billy Keyes was the difference in the game," Jennings said. "He came in and settled things down for them. He was the equalizer."

"That's a 15-year-old out there, and he's stepped up," Powell said. "In the last game against Frederick, he closed it out, and in this game he came in and closed it out again.

"He's got thick blood, nothing rattles him, and he's a competitor."

And about that freaky fourth inning?

"We hung in there ... we've really got to learn to put teams away," Powell said.

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