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Mt. Airy earns sweep, ends Funkstown's year

July 23, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown American Legion Post 211 had its season ended Saturday afternoon by a pair of hits that never left the Funkstown Memorial Park infield.

Mount Airy Post 191 scored three runs in the top of the seventh, sparked by two infield hits, to knock off Funkstown 10-7 in the first game of a doubleheader sweep and clinch the Western Maryland District second-half title.

Mount Airy won the second game 5-0 and advances to the Maryland State Tournament at McCurdy Field in Frederick, Md., beginning Friday.

After coming back to tie the first game in the sixth inning, Funkstown was doomed by the littlest of hits.

With the game knotted at 7-7, Ryan Murray led off the seventh with a walk. Derek Seib reached on a bunt single and moved to third on two fielder's choice groundouts. With two outs, Andrew Bizjak drove in Seib on a bloop that fell just in front of the right-field grass. Bizjak beat the throw by Funkstown second baseman Trevor Cobb and Mount Airy took an 8-7 lead.

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"That's baseball," said Funkstown manager Brian Smith. "Sometimes you have to make your own breaks and we didn't make them today."

Funkstown got another bad break when Aaron Gabrielian grounded down the first-base line and the ball bounced off of first base into the outfield. Bizjak and Dan Gerjets both scored on the unusual hit to give Mount Airy a 10-7 lead, which Jimmy Mudgett preserved in the bottom of the seventh.

The breaks helped Mount Airy at the end, but the Funkstown defense assisted with giving up an early lead.

Post 211 got the lead in the first inning behind Matt Murray's three-run home run and Trevor Cobb's RBI single for a 4-1 advantage. Funkstown lost the lead after Mount Airy scored a run in the third and five in the fourth, taking advantage of two errors to score three unearned runs against Funkstown starter Cam Shifler.

"We didn't really earn any of our runs," said Mount Airy coach George Richardson. "They gave us the runs we got. It was an ugly game."

"The big home run in the first inning got us out to a good lead, but we got complacent," Smith said.

Tyler Beard's RBI single in the fifth pulled Funkstown within two runs at 7-5. Post 211 tied the game in the next inning on an RBI single by Cody Poffenberger and a bases-loaded walk by Freddie Kreiger. Mount Airy escaped further damage when Mudgett fanned Beard with the bases still full.

With nothing at stake the nightcap, the Funkstown offense sputtered, producting just two hits. Carl Huber and Dennis McHuge combined to throw the shutout.

Mount Airy jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on RBI hits by Steven Rice, Matt Greene, Matt Hoffman and Rob Rowse. Hoffman added another RBI single in the seventh.

"The season obviously didn't go the way we wanted it to," Smith said. "We wanted to try to duplicate the success from last year, but it's tough. We have some good kids back next year and we'll try it again next year."

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