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Funkstown rallies into state finals

July 30, 2011|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Better late than never.

Funkstown Post 211 scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and pulled out a 13-10 come-from-behind win over Gaithersburg Post 295 on Saturday at the Maryland American Legion State Baseball Tournament at Municipal Stadium.

Funkstown (3-1 tournament, 22-6 overall), which trailed 10-9 after 7 1/2 innings, advanced to the championship round of the state tournament for the first time since 2005 when it won the state title.

Funkstown will start the championship round at 11 a.m. Sunday against Chaney, which is still unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament. If Chaney wins, it will clinch the state title. If Funkstown wins, then a second game will be played immediately after that to determine the champion.

Both Trevor Haupt and Brock Heiston were hit by pitches to start Funkstown’s rally in the eighth. Nic Martin sacrificed both runners up one base. One out later, Jake Bachtell hit a two-run single to right that put Funkstown ahead for good. Ryne Willard then smacked a triple off the right-field wall to drive in Bachtell, and Ryan Sword followed with a single to center to knock in Willard.

“I just tried to do whatever it took,” Bachtell said. “I was just trying to get on base. There was a pitch kind of hanging over the plate. I just got hold of it and hit it to center field. It drove the runs in.”

Bachtell finished with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Haupt ended up with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.

“We got a great sacrifice bunt by Nic Martin to set up that eighth-inning rally,” Funkstown manager Jeff Williams said. “We came through with some timely hits in the eighth inning when we needed them. Several of our hitters are in a major slump right now. We need to get everybody hitting. We pitched pretty well, but our defense didn’t perform like they should have.”

Only one of Gaithersburg’s 10 runs was earned as it took advantage of five Funkstown errors.

Williams said that Funkstown is going to have to show some improvement in all areas during the championship round.

“We play a great team tomorrow in Chaney,” Williams said. “We have got to play a solid baseball game tomorrow. We have got to have good pitching, good defense and good hitting.”

Funkstown started the scoring with a five-run rally in the bottom of the first.

However, Gaithersburg had its own five-run rally in the top of the third to even the score at 5-5. Peter Bowles clubbed a three-run homer and Nick Karis belted a solo homer for Gaithersburg.

Funkstown got two runs in the bottom of the third, but Gaithersburg matched that with two runs in the top of the fourth to tie it up 7-7.

Ty Benson’s RBI double in the fifth put Funkstown up 8-7.

Gaithersburg scored three runs in the sixth to take a 10-8 lead.

Funkstown got a run in the seventh to reduce the deficit to 10-9 and set the stage for its game-winning, four-run rally in the eighth.

Earlier in the day, Chaney beat Gaithersburg 13-1 in seven innings in the completion of a suspended game. After that, Chaney eliminated Wicomico 9-5.

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