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Carter's decision helps Funkstown

May 17, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

A month ago, Funkstown Post 211 manager Darryl Powell knew several key players - including Matt Allen, David Miner, Matt Hess, Gerry Spessard, Adam Dick, T.J. Hose, Ryan Wingerd and Matt Tedrick - would return for a run at a fourth straight Western Maryland District title.

That was before St. Maria Goretti graduate Josh Carter, fresh off his freshman season at Liberty University, told Powell he'd be back, too.

With Carter set to anchor the third spot in the batting order, an already-potent lineup became deeper and stronger - a scary thought for Funkstown's opponents.

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"That was a big plus, because he had some big numbers last year, plus he's been on (an NCAA Division I) baseball level," Powell said. "This is a kid who's going to come into his own as far as leadership."

Carter was a key piece in Funkstown's finishing fourth in the state tournament last season. With him in place, there are few, if any, weak spots in the lineup.

Miner (.386, eight homers, 37 RBI last season) is expected to lead off.

"He gives you power, speed, plus he's always going to hit high for average and be on base," Powell said. "He's a legit leadoff hitter."

The second spot is the most glaring question mark for Funkstown because Matt Johnson (.398, 29 doubles, 80 RBI and 125 runs over three seasons) will not return. Spessard (.342 in 120 at-bats last year) seems to be the favorite, with Hose another possibility.

"The second hitter is someone who's gonna be on base a lot," Powell said. "I like someone who will be able to move a guy along, hit behind him or put the ball in play."

Then Funkstown's power really starts to show. Carter, Allen (.367, 12 homers, 69 RBI in three seasons) and Tedrick (.365, two homers, 18 RBI in 52 at-bats last season) are slated to be the 3-4-5 hitters, with Philip Powell another possibility.

"There's four quality kids who can hit the ball a long way," Darryl Powell said. "They're the big guns. The thing with this team, one through nine, there's a lot of power all the way through the lineup. In the type of park we play home games in, that should be a plus for us."

Hess, an outfielder, and newcomer Kyle Robinson, slated to be the starting shortstop, should see plenty of at-bats in the bottom third of the lineup.

The pitching isn't shabby, either. Funkstown returns six pitchers who have 42 combined victories over the past three years.

"I've got a lot of quality pitchers coming back who have already proven themselves," Powell said. "That's a lot of wins and a lot of experience."

Hose (10-2, 3.29 ERA, 97 strikeouts in 90 innings over two seasons), Wingerd (13-4, 2.82, 115 Ks in 120 innings over three seasons) and Miner (5-1, 3.23, 43 Ks in 43 innings last year) will anchor the rotation, with Dick (6-0, 3.37 last year) and Cole Bellon (5-1, 4.07 last year) figuring to get a handful of starts. Shawn Ryan (3-2 in two seasons) will probably see most of his action in relief.

"With that type of pitching, those guys consistently should be holding teams to three or four runs," Powell said. "I know our park is a tough place to pitch, but those guys were successful last year, and I can't imagine it's any different."




Funkstown Post 211

Manager: Darryl Powell

Last Season: 33-11, Western Md. champions

Name Pos.

Matt Allen C

Bryson Appel CF

Cole Bellon P

Josh Bussard 3B

Josh Carter 1B

Drew Crawford 2B

Adam Dick Util

Matt Hess LF

T.J. Hose P

Daniel Lynn 2B

Jeff Mills P

David Miner RF-P

Philip Powell 1B

Kyle Robinson SS

Shawn Ryan P

Gerry Spessard RF

Matt Tedrick 1B

Ryan Wingerd P

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