The Four County 9-11 All-Stars cruised to a dominant win over Frederick National in its opening game of the District 2 Little League tournament on Sunday, but first true test came in a second-round clash against Brunswick.
Four County managed just four hits and was held scoreless in a 5-0 loss at Russell Windsor Field on Tuesday.
“[Brunswick] had the right hits at the right time,” said Four County manager Jason Evans, who has four players from Carroll on his roster. “They’re a good team, they always are. They had good pitching, good defense, very few mistakes and that was the difference.”
After Four County went three up and three down in the first inning, Brunswick opened up the scoring with a Nick Piermarini RBI double to left field off starting pitcher A.J. Korkosz.
Piermarini led Brunswick in hits (2) and RBIs (2) on the night.
Surrounding lightning in the area forced the game into a weather delay nearly halfway through the second inning. Players were sent to their cars for close to an hour before play resumed.
Evans said keeping his players focused and ready to play after the delay was all in his pre-game plan.
“[The delay] is just a part of it,” he said. “Whether it’s a bad inning or weather delay, you have to have your brain in the right mindset and come out with energy and be ready to go.”
Following the delay, Four County had one of its best scoring chances, possessing runners on first and second base but a strikeout ended the threat.
Starting pitcher Nathan Borawski was stout on the mound for Brunswick in 4 2/3 innings, escaping jams and holding Four County scoreless in the process.
Brunswick added to its lead with a two-run third inning off another RBI at-bat from Piermarini. Two batters later, Colin Pearre drove in Sam Verosto with an RBI single.
Despite the scoreline, Four County had scoring opportunities.
Back-to-back doubles from Korkosz and Sam Gapen in the fourth inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Joseph Shultz, gave Four County two runners in scoring position.
But every time it seemed the All-Stars had a threat, Brunswick held its ground.
Brunswick tallied two runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a pair of wild pitches surrendered from John Scarzello and a sacrifice RBI from Pearre. It extended the lead to 5-0 and Brunswick advances to the District 2 tournament title game on Friday night at 6.
Even with the loss, Four County’s championship hopes are very much alive. The All-Stars have a day break with the July 4 holiday before taking on either Frederick National — Four County beat National 10-0 on Sunday — or Montgomery County Lower on Thursday night at 6.
A win would set up a rematch against Brunswick in the title game, and Evans very much believes in his team’s ability moving forward.