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Funkstown to try hard way

July 18, 2010|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT -- Even traditions change sometimes.

Over the years, Funkstown Post 211 was used to winning titles the old-fashion way, by posting the best record. This year, it's different.

Funkstown came up short, losing its opening game in a new four-team, double-elimination format, falling 4-3 on Saturday to Frederick.

Funkstown, the second seed by virtue of its regular-season record, wasted a 7 2/3-inning outing by J.J. O'Neill, who struck out seven, to fall into the losers' bracket.

"J.J. O'Neill pitched a (heck) of a good game," Funkstown manager Jeff Williams said. "We just didn't hit the ball. We missed some opportunities. We'll come back here and play again tomorrow."

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Funkstown faces No. 4-seed Williamsport today at 1 p.m. in an effort to stave off elimination. Willamsport lost to Woodsboro 12-11 in a play-in game on Friday.

Funkstown owned a 3-1 lead after five innings, but Frederick came back to claim the victory, scoring the winning run on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth.

"Coming out with a 4-3 win was tremendous," Frederick manager Tommy Long said. "The pitching came through. It was outstanding. Zach Jones did a tremendous job during the first seven innings. Corey Busche looked pretty good in relief. Danny Dixon then did a fine job of coming in and closing it out."

Jones allowed three runs and struck out nine in his seven-inning stint.

Frederick snapped a 3-3 tie when Matt Lawrence and Dougie Simms singled to lead off the ninth. They advanced when Brian Chase walked and Lawrence scored when Long drew a free pass.

Funkstown took a 1-0 lead in the first on Ty Benson's home run to left-center field, his first of three hits.

Frederick tied the game in the third on a wild pitch by O'Neill.

Funkstown took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a two-run home run by O'Neill.

Frederick got a run back in the sixth when Josh Jackson drew a bases-loaded walk. It tied the score in the eighth on a solo home run by Josh Jackson.

Frederick advances to play top-seeded Mount Airy today at 1 p.m. in a winners' bracket game.

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