Baseball: Four County scores early, falls short in district opener

Baseball: Four County scores early, falls short in district opener
Four County 10-11 All-Stars second baseman Justin Nichols throws home as Northwest Washington baserunners round the bases in the second inning of a Maryland state Little League baseball tournament game in Elkton. (Steve Ruark / Carroll County Times)

Four County 10-12 All-Stars manager Aaron Jansen said he knew the Maryland District 2 Little League tournament was going to competitive from the start.

His team’s first-round matchup against East Frederick proved just that.


Runs weren’t hard to come by for either side from start to finish, but Four County was edged 10-9 in a six-inning thriller.

“We told them, ‘You gotta play all six innings,’” said Jansen. “They had some mental errors and that’s the difference of the game.”

Four County found itself down early as East Frederick took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off a two-run single to center field.

However, the lead was short-lived and Four County took advantage of a slew of pitching mistakes from the opposition. Max Lopacienski advanced on a hit-by-pitch, and three straight walks scored a run and loaded the bases for catcher Stephen Curry.

Curry — one of the two returning players from last year’s team that fell to Thurmont in the District 2 tourney championship game — smacked a two-run single to give Four County a 3-2 lead.

It sparked a six-running as Four County batted around the order.

Augie Jansen followed with a two-run triple and starting pitcher Jacob Leibowitz helped his own cause with an RBI single to give Four County what seemed to be a commanding 6-2 lead.

Pitching struggles continued for both sides and East Frederick trimmed the deficit back to one run in the third inning with a combination of singles and walks.

Jeremy Larrick took over for Leibowitz in the fourth, providing a strong half inning on the mound by retiring three of four East Frederick batters.

Four County extended its lead to 9-5 in the following frame with a two-run triple from Jacob that skipped off the third-base bag, and a Riley Harris sacrifice fly.

It seemed Four County had secured a good lead heading into the fifth, but a grinding effort from the opposition tied the game at 9-9 as Four County failed to answer.

Heading into a tie game in the top of the sixth, East Frederick broke the deadlock on a looping double into center field, which proved to be the winning run.

Four County drops to the consolation bracket with the loss and will face Lower Montgomery County at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The game will take place North Chevy Chase Field No. 2.

Augie Jansen provided 1⅓ innings to cap the game for Four County, and Aaron Jansen said he’s set to be the team’s starting pitcher on Sunday.


Despite some holes in his team’s pitching, Jansen said he was pleased with the offensive performance.

“Nine runs should win any game,” he said.

Jansen said he understands the pressure heading into a do-or-die game but still expressed plenty of confidence in his team to rebound and get back on track.

“We like our chances to win … and keep playing,” he said. “It’s [the players] focusing on making one out at a time and getting off the field.”