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Bottom of order puts 211 on top

August 01, 2005

SALISBURY, Md. - In the topsy-turvy world of American Legion baseball, the bottom came out on top for Funkstown Post 211.

The bottom half of Funkstown's batting order ignited a five-run rally with two outs in the eighth inning - highlighted by Tim Kellinger's two-run triple - to break a 6-6 tie and pull out an 11-9 win over Gaithersburg Post 295, eliminating the two-time defending state champions from the Maryland State Tournament on Sunday.

"The bottom of lineup was unbelievable and, with the clutch hits with two outs, they were phenomenal," said Funkstown manager Darryl Powell. "We've done that a couple of times, but not like this."

And not at a better time.

The bottom grouping of Dave Warrenfeltz, Phil Powell, Kyle Robinson, Trevor Cobb and Kellinger combined for 13 of Funkstown's 15 hits. The eighth-inning heroics bailed out Funkstown, which squandered three bases-loaded scoring chances in the first five innings.

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The win was magnified because rain on the Eastern Shore has changed the double-elimination tournament into a bracket event. Funkstown advances to today's 1 p.m. semifinals against the winner of the Salisbury-Garrett County game. If Post 211 wins, it will advance to the best-of-3 final, scheduled for 5 p.m.

Funkstown held leads of 2-0 and 4-2 and fell behind 6-4 before tying the game in the seventh.

Post 211 opened the eighth with Kyle Beard's leadoff walk off reliever Weston Pupa and David Warrenfeltz added a one-out single. With two outs, Kyle Robinson and Trevor Cobb had RBI singles to give Funkstown a two-run lead.

Kellinger followed with his triple and scored when the throw to third went into the dugout for the 11-6 lead.

"Timmy has hit all year long but right before that playoff with Mt. Airy, he hit a dry spell," Darryl Powell said. "He seems to be pulling back out of it at right time. Once we broke through in one of the situations with two outs and got a big hit, it kind of snowballed."

Craig Henson, the third of four Funkstown pitchers, blanked Gaithersburg in the eighth but struggled in the ninth. He was lifted for Andy Taylor after allowing the first two batters to reach in the ninth.

Gaithersburg had two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to two runs. Taylor closed out the game with the tying runs on base to earn the save.

Jay Love gave Funkstown a quality start, allowing two runs in five innings.

Kellinger, who was batting ninth, had three hits and four RBI while Robinson finished with three hits and four RBI. Warrenfeltz added three hits and Phil Powell had two.

Gaithersburg entered the game as the sixth-ranked team in the nation. For Funkstown, it was a huge win, considering it had suffered two one-run losses in the last two meetings with Post 295.

"This is real big," Darryl Powell said. "They were sixth in nation and we matched up with them right off the bat. But I told the kids, every team here is good because they are playing in the state tournament."

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