Cumberland Times-News

July 25, 2013

Local teams first to exit

Funkstown edges Talbot in 12-inning marathon

Mike Mathews
Cumberland Times-News

— POTOMAC PARK — Grantsville struggled to get a timely hit, while Fort Cumberland battled to simply  get any hit Wednesday at the American Legion baseball state tournament.

It never came for Grantsville, and it took eight innings before Fort Cumberland got its first hit.

It was that kind of a day for the local teams, who ended up being the first two eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.

Grantsville lost to Cecil County 5-1 and Fort Cumberland, after being no-hit by Damascus, fell to Greenbelt 6-2.

Wednesday night, Funkstown stayed unbeaten by defeating Talbot 8-6 in 12 innings. The final game ended too late to be included in this edition. Damascus led defending champ Sandy Spring 5-2 in the third inning when the Times-News went to press.

Cecil County    5

Grantsville    1

Nate Loman hit two doubles, Adam Janney doubled and singled and Robert Williams had two singles to lead Cecil County past Grantsville at Hamilton Field.

Cecil jumped on Grantsville with five hits in a three-run first inning. Loman drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, Janney had an RBI double and Williams an RBI single.

Mason Dick and Danny Sislo had two singles for Grantsville.

Grantsville pitcher Evan Rodeheaver settled in after the first inning to keep it at 3-0 through five innings.

But Grantsville was unable to take advantage at the plate. The Garrett County team had numerous chances, but left the bases loaded in the last two innings and stranded 11 baserunners for the game.

The only run came when Sislo drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.

“I thought we battled and played tough after the first inning. It was a tough start to an elimination game,” said Grantsville coach Phil Carr. “We kept giving ourselves opportunities to score, and that’s all you can ask for ... Give yourself chances and hope you get a big hit.”

Rodeheaver pitched 6 2-3 innings and allowed only five hits and one run after the first inning. He struck out two and had no walks.

“Overall, I think we made a pretty good showing with two close games,’’ Carr said. “Especially considering that with two small high schools we have the smallest draw (of players) of all the teams here.”

Grantsville center fielder Pat Sines made the defensive play of the game, and perhaps the tournament, with a diving, over-the-shoulder catch in deep left center field.

Greenbelt    6

Fort Cumberland    2

Chris Jeletic had a pair of hits, Brad Thaxton tripled and Jack Alkire and Jack Tintle combined for 13 strikeouts to lead Greenbelt past Fort Cumberland.

Jeletic had an RBI single to give Greenbelt the lead in the second inning and Thaxton’s RBI triple made it 3-0 in the third.

Fort Cumberland, no-hit in its opener, got its first hit when Chris Fram singled to left with two outs in the first inning. Fram later hit a solo homer for Post 13’s first run, in the fourth inning.

Greenbelt answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, the big play being a squeeze bunt by Andrew Keith that brought in two runs and made it 6-1.

Colton Sivic had an RBI double and a single for Fort Cumberland.

“These are tough teams, and it was tough to have (Tuesday) night’s game suspended and have to come back and play two the next day,’’ said Fort Cumberland coach Kenny Johnson. “We had chances in this one, but left 14 men on base.”

Alkire allowed only four hits and a run, walked four and struck out eight in six innings for the win. Tintle struck out five over the final three innings.

Ryan Briner threw four hitless innings of relief and struck out three for Fort Cumberland.

“I’m proud of the season we had. The Legion season is a quick one,” Johnson said. “You play a lot of games in a short period, and we played well for the most part.”

Fort Cumberland finished the year 14-12.

Funkstown    8

Talbot    6

Brandon Toloso and Colby Johnson knocked in runs in a three-run 12th inning as Funkstown outlasted Talbot in a game that lasted nearly four hours.

Funkstown forced extra innings with a Houdini-like escape of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the ninth. After Zack Correa singled and reached third on an outfield error, Funkstown intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases.

Brad Spickler then came on in relief and got a grounder to second and force out at the plate, a pop out to short and another ground out to end the inning.

“These guys dug deep, and I couldn’t be more proud of them,’’ Funkstown coach Patrick Moore said. “They showed a lot of heart. We’re not the best hitting club, but we’re going to pitch and play defense.”

Funkstown went ahead in the 10th on a two-out single by Zach Lucas, a hit batter and an RBI single by Toloso.

Talbot countered in the bottom half when Jack Wood drew a two-out walk and scored on a double to right-center by Correa.

After a scoreless 11th, C.J. Owings reached on an infield error and Charles Cvijanovich reached on an errant throw of his bunt. After a one-out walk that loaded the bases, Toloso was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run and Johnson’s two-run single provided two big insurance runs, making it 8-5.

Talbot’s Damien South had an RBI single in the bottom of the 12th before Funkstown got the final out in a game that lasted 3:48.

Moore admitted he thought his team had the game won several times. They led 4-2 in the eighth and 5-4 in the 10th.

“We had an inability to close it. We got two outs with the lead and then had a walk and their next guy got a big hit,’’ he said. “They were tired and we were tired. We put the ball in play, and forced them to throw the ball around.”

Toloso doubled and singled for Funkstown, which was outhit 13-9. South was 4 for 5 and Dustin Jones 3 for 6 for Talbot. Correa had two singles and Tyler Slaugenhoupf a double for Talbot.

Talbot pitchers Correa, Leifur Sweitzer and Wood combined for 12 strikeouts and, because of seven errors, only two earned runs.

Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Write to him at