POTOMAC PARK — Zack Correa led off the game with a home run and belted another a few innings later, and Talbot turned away Grantsville all evening in a 6-3 win at the Maryland American Legion Baseball state tournament Tuesday at Memorial Field.
Correa, a left-hander, homered to right on the fifth pitch of the game and hit a two-run shot to nearly the same spot in the fifth as Talbot built a 5-1 lead.
The two homers matched his season total at St. Michaels High this season according to Talbot coach Buddy Harrison.
“He’s been working hard all year and he always hits the ball hard,” Harrison said of Correa, a first baseman in high school but the center fielder on the Legion team. He made a nice running catch in left center with two on to end a Grantsville rally in the sixth.
It was another tormenting game for Grantsville, which never led but was always within striking distance.
Grantville had seven hits and received nine walks, but was unable to come up with the big hit and stranded 14 baserunners, five in the final two innings and the bases loaded twice.
“It’s been the story of our year ... we haven’t had a lot of big hits,’’ Grantsville coach Phil Carr said. “Every game seems like it has been like this one for us. We’ve got a very young team and have fought and battled and have been close. But nine of our losses have come in the last inning, and seven were on walk-offs.”
Grantsville (12-16) will play Cecil County in this morning’s 10 a.m. game.
Chris Bramble, the No. 9 man in the Talbot order, did a good job turning the lineup over as he and Correa combined to go 4 for 8 with five runs scored. The No. 7, 8 and 9 batters, Dylan Rabbit, Taylor Slaugenhoupf and Bramble, were 5 for 12. Cleanup hitter Zach Howeth had a triple and an RBI.
Kyle Rosenberger had two singles and an RBI and Mason Dick a double and an RBI for Grantsville.
Talbot used four pitchers, three being hard throwing left-handers, and overcame some wildness by making the big pitches when needed.
“Grantsville is like us in that they never give up. They scratch back and fight and won’t go away,’’ said Harrison. “Our pitchers came through when they had to, and our infielders made some nice plays and out outfielders did too, like Correa’s running over-the-shoulder catch.”
Jack Wood earned a save by coming on with the bases loaded and getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
“They helped us with some walks, but we’ve got to clean up our defense,’’ said Carr, whose team had five errors but allowed only one unearned run. “(Pitcher) Jerad Fike kept us in it, and I thought we made some plays and he battled back well after a long first inning.”
Talbot plays Funkstown today at 4 p.m.
Cecil County 0
Colby Johnson’s RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth lifted Funkstown past Cecil County.
Johnson’s hit scored J.T. Root, who had been locked up in a pitchers duel with Cecil’s Ben Dean. Both went seven innings. Root allowed two hits, walked three and struck out 14, while Dean gave up four hits, walked two and fanned 11.
Zach Lucas got the win, pitching the final two innings of the shutout.
Brad Spickler doubled for Funkstown. Brad Garrant doubled and singled for Cecil.
Sandy Spring 3
Sean Van Geisen scored on a two-out balk in the top of the 12th inning as defending champion Sandy Spring outlasted Greenbelt.
Van Geisen had three singles and Matt Castelli and Nate O’Brien had two as nine Sandy Spring batters hit safely. Sandy Spring outhit Gaithersburg 13-4 but stranded 13 baserunners and hit into three double plays.
Michael Dunn had an RBI double for Greenbelt.
Zach Lawhorn allowed three hits and struck six in nine innings for Sandy Spring. He and reliever Brady Hall combined for seven shutout innings to end the game.
Taylor Broom struck out six and allowed one unearned run in seven innings for Greenbelt.
Because of the Sandy Spring-Greenbelt game, the final game of the evening, between Damascus and Fort Cumberland, began nearly 90 minutes behind its scheduled 7 p.m. start. Damascus led 1-0 in the third inning when the Times-News went to press.
Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org