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Funkstown Post 211 wins state title

August 03, 2005|by JONATHAN HOWARD

SALISBURY, Md. - Funkstown Post 211 now has another name - Team Maryland.

Funkstown defeated Chaney Enterprises twice on Tuesday in Games 2 and 3 of the Maryland American Legion State Tournament championship series, winning Game 3 by scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for an exhilarating 5-4 victory and the state title.

The Game 3 triumph followed an extra-inning, comeback victory hours earlier.

The Comeback Kids captured their first state title since 1983, and will travel to Brooklawn, N.J., for the Atlantic Regional tournament Aug. 11-15.

"This team has come through all year long in the later innings," Funkstown manager Darryl Powell said. "I didn't think it was in the cards. I thought that the way we were hitting these last two days, with Chaney's pitching, I thought it was over. ... We seem to find a way."

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In the deciding game, Funkstown dug a late hole after establishing a one-run lead in the first inning. Chaney put three runs on the board with five consecutive singles off Funkstown starter Josh Bowers in the top of the seventh inning, and added another run in the eighth to make it 4-1.

Matt Murray got things started for Funkstown in the ninth with a leadoff double. Starting pitcher Paul Vogt, who did not allow an earned run through eight innings, was pulled in favor of Justin Armiger.

Armiger faltered, walking the bases loaded before walking in Murray to trim Chaney's lead to 4-2. He hit Drew Crawford with a pitch, scoring pinch runner Kevin Brashears, and then walked Marcellus Sumlin to bring in the tying run.

Trevor Cobb followed by ripping a fat pitch up the middle to score Tim Kellinger with the winning run.

"With this team, no doubts," Cobb said. "This is the best ballclub I've ever been involved with. It's basically an honor to be on the team, I love it. ... These players, they can unload at any time, it's only a matter of time."

Bowers went 8 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs with two walks and six stirkeouts. Crawford finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and Kellinger, Sumlin and Murray each drove in a run.

"Today we came out ready to rip," Cobb said, "beause we know they could beat us. We didn't want to go home."

- In Game 2, Funkstown scored runs in the top of the eighth and ninth innings to tie Chaney, before David Warrenfeltz brought Bowers home from second with an RBI single in the top of the 10th to give Post 211 the 3-2 victory.

Bowers earned the save in the bottom of the 10th.

Chaney appeared to be in complete control early, with starting pitcher Steve Sobocinski dominating Funkstown. He pitched 4 2/3 perfect innings, and was scoreless into the eighth.

Sobocinski walked Trevor Cobb in the eighth, and Tyler Beard singled him home to put Funkstown within one. Kyle Robinson tied the game at 2-2 with two outs in the top of the ninth on an RBI single.

Funkstown starter Jay Love allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Craig Henson pitched three innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.

- Robinson won both the MVP award and the batting trophy, hitting .529 for the tournament. Henson received the pitcher's award, accumulating two wins and a save.

Should Funkstown win the Atlantic Regional, it will advance to the American Legion World Series in Rapid City, S.D., Aug. 19-23.




Jonathan Howard is a freelance writer for The Daily Times in Salisbury. You can reach him at 410-845-4642.

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