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Stoner's hot bat gives Funkstown win

May 29, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

FUNKSTOWN -- North Hagerstown sophomore Aaron Stoner finished the prep season with quality appearances at the plate and on the mound as the Hubs picked up three tournament wins before losing.

He carried over his late-season prep run into the American Legion Western Maryland District season opener on Friday, smacking a two-run home run to lead Funkstown Post 211 to a 5-3 win over the Williamsport Nationals.

Against Nationals left-hander Seth Poffenberger, Stoner lifted what appeared to be a routine fly ball to right, only to watch it carry over the fence to give Funkstown a 4-3 lead.

"It feels great," said Stoner. "It was a low inside pitch. I guess I'm just carrying over some confidence. It was a nice atmosphere here."

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"(Aaron) caught it just right," said Funkstown manager Jeff Williams, a winner in his Legion debut.

Tim Jacobson scored ahead of Stoner after a walk, one of four free passes Poffenberger issued. They all led to runs.

Tim Leather walked following Stoner's homer and Poffenberger was lifted. Joey Miller greeted Josh Cline with a stinging double to center, scoring Miller.

"(Seth) was getting tired and the fifth would have been his last inning," said Williamsport manager Duane Myers. "He's such a competitor. I thought (Stoner's) hit was a routine fly ball and it keeps carrying."

Former Hub Colby Fisher entered the game in the fifth in relief and kept Williamsport off the scoreboard over three innings, allowing only a two-out single to Tyler Walsh in the seventh. He struck out four.

"We're a young team, so it was good to get the jitters out of the way in the first District game," said Williams.

Funkstown took a 1-0 lead in the second on a walk to Miller, a wild pitch and a two-out single by Tyeler Presgraves.

Williamsport left the bases loaded on three walks from Dwight Boward in the top of the second.

The Nationals rebounded to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning.

Poffenberger singled, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on Jared Ferguson's sacrifice fly. Travis Sluger doubled to knock out Boward, and Tyler Walsh greeted reliever Aaron Stotelmyer with an RBI double.

Williamsport knotted the score at 2 in the bottom half on a one-out walk to Jeremy Barron, a stolen base and an opposite-field, run-scoring single by Leather.

Dryan Cole led off the top of the fourth with a long blast over the high fence in left off Stotelmyer for a 3-2 Williamsport lead.

Williamsport left nine runners on base.

"I thought we looked at far too many pitches without producing at the right time," said Myers. "Like the second, we get three walks but don't put the ball in play to get in runs when we need to. We just need an aggressive attitude."

Note: Prior to the game, players from both teams formed a circle around the pitcher's mound and in unison shouted out "3-4" to honor former Williamsport Legion player Nick Adenhart. After a moment of silence, Adenhart's high school coach, Rod Steiner, threw a ceremonial fastball first pitch right across the plate. Each team has Adenhart's 34 stitched in their caps.

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