FREDERICK — Sykesville and Mount Airy faced each other Friday morning for the first time this summer, with the American Legion baseball rivals opening a three-day weekend tournament by playing a Western Maryland District contest.
Gold Star Post 191 got the better of Post 223 with strikeouts — lots of them.
Max Proctor dominated Sykesville over five innings, and Mount Airy prevailed 7-3 at Loats Field to get back to .500 on the season.
Proctor struck out 10 batters and kept Post 223 at bay, and Mount Airy spread out its offense to take its first game of the Frederick Wood Bat Tournament. Sykesville struck out 13 times in defeat, and six of those were looking.
“This was by far, definitely his best performance so far,” said Mount Airy manager Ryan Staley. “The strikeouts were nice. The guys have done a nice job so far in the games we’ve played.”
Post 191 improved to 3-1-1 (3-1 in the Western Maryland District) with Proctor and Sam Downs combining for those 13 whiffs. Sykesville tried to mount a comeback in the seventh, but Griffin Gill (South Carroll) closed it out at the deadline.
Tournament officials made the time limit announcement with Post 223 batting in the seventh, the bases loaded, and Spence Blade at the plate. Gill got Blade to ground out to end the game.
Had he reached base, the game would have been suspended at that point and resumed at a later date.
(Sykesvillle stayed on the field and took on Annapolis Post 7 around 11:30 a.m; Mount Airy left for a 2 p.m. tilt against Laurel Post 60 at McCurdy Field.)
Gold Star Post 191 grabbed a 4-1 lead in the fourth thanks to RBI singles from Proctor and Ryan Barthlow (three hits).
Armani Bullock added a run-scoring double, and Garrett Schwartzbeck had three hits and two RBIs.
“We sort of strung together a couple of nice innings, so we’re getting production one through nine,” Staley said. “And that’s the important thing, is that they’re team wins.”
Sykesville broke out of its hitting woes in the seventh — Jake Sell (Westminster) smacked an RBI double, and Jonathan Money (South Carroll) scored on a wild pitch. Post 223 got singles from Money and Caleb Ludwig (Manchester Valley), but couldn’t extend its rally.
Co-manager Todd Fletcher said the rash of strikeouts was uncharacteristic of his squad, despite falling to 3-8 (1-4).
“We;ve had some bad breaks this year,” said Fletcher, who was without a few regulars Friday because of vacations. “We had three broken bats in the game, we broke one during batting practice. We just haven’t caught the breaks that we’ve needed so far this year.”