Funkstown still has life in state tourney

July 29, 2011|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Funkstown Post 211 stayed alive in the Maryland American Legion State Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon by blanking Fort Cumberland Post 13 by a 7-0 score in the third round at Municipal Stadium.

Funkstown (2-1 tournament, 21-6 overall) is one of four teams remaining in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament that runs through Sunday.

Today’s action begins at 9 a.m. with the conclusion of Friday night’s game between Chaney and Gaithersburg.

Chaney took a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the game was postponed by rain.

That game will be followed by Wicomico vs. Chaney at approximately 12:30 p.m., followed by Funkstown vs. Gaithersburg at approximately 4.

Ben Bushong and Dylan Eyler combined to hurl a six-hit shutout for Funkstown on Friday.

Bushong gave up only four hits during eight innings of pitching to get the win.

“When you have three pitches, it is real easy to get ahead in the count and blow people away,” Bushong said. “Those three pitches were a fastball, a changeup and a curveball. It also feels easy knowing that you have a good defense behind you. I feel like that I accomplished what I wanted to. I felt like that I threw a good game.”

Bushong said he was grateful for the run support that he received from his teammates.

“The hitters stepped up and gave good run support,” he said. “It makes it easier to pitch knowing that you have a big lead to work with.”

Eyler allowed two hits in the ninth inning, but he held Fort Cumberland scoreless.

Funkstown manager Jeff Williams was impressed with Bushong’s performance.

“It was solid pitching and solid defense,” Williams said. “Ben was on his game today. He hit his spots and he got on top. Ben held his composure out there in a key game like this.”

Funkstown got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the third inning. C.J. Owings led off with a triple to center and came home when Brock Heiston grounded out to the shortstop.

Funkstown added a run in the fourth when Tyeler Presgraves walked, took second on a balk and scored when Jack Schwartz reached on a throwing error.

Funkstown put together a four-run rally in the fifth to extend its lead to 6-0. Funkstown loaded the bases with nobody out when Ty Benson walked, Jake Bachtell got an infield single and Ryne Willard reached on a bunt single. Aaron Stoner then came through with a two-run single to left, Willard came home on a wild pitch and Stoner scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Presgraves.

Funkstown got its final run in the seventh when Stoner scored on Heiston’s groundout to the shortstop.

“We executed by getting baserunners on and putting them in scoring position,” Williams said. “We were able to drive some runs in during a few crucial situations. We still left too many runners on base.”

In an earlier game Friday, Wicomico banged out 20 hits to beat Cecil 17-4 in 6 1/2 innings. Eight of the nine starters hit safely for Wicomico.

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