Four County’s run at a Little League 11-12 District 2 championship last summer ended in the consolation finals with a loss against Brunswick, but this year’s All-Stars roster is filled with veterans that want to make sure they avenge their 2018 defeat.
First up for Four County this year is Thurmont, which is hosting their district opener Saturday morning at 10. The double-elimination tournament starts with four games around the region, and continues through July 12. Joining Four County and Thurmont in the District 2 tournament field are Brunswick, East Frederick, Frederick National, reigning champ Montgomery County Lower, Montgomery County Upper, and Mountain Valley.
Four County manager Jason Evans said the All-Stars, who are made up of players from Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery counties, are eager to start playing after being picked from their organization’s in-house regular season.
“I think they’re excited,” Evans said. “They’re ready for practices to be over and games to begin.”
Seven of Four County’s 13 players are back from last year, and five of the kids on the roster hail from Carroll County — Caleb Evans, Sam Gapen, Kyle Humbel, Caleb Kearns, and Jonah Oetken.
Jason Evans said Four County has its share of quality pitchers, with Caleb Evans, A.J. Korkosz, and Jack Scarzello likely creating the team’s regular rotation. Jason Evans said Caleb Evans, Korkosz, and Scarzello should wield Four County’s big bats in the middle of the lineup.
“For a lot of the kids on this team … we know what their capabilities are,” Jason Evans said. “It really comes down to, how much have the kids capitalized on what we’ve taught them.”
District champions advance to the state tournament, hosted this year by Frederick National, which begins July 20. State champs move on from there to regionals — Maryland’s representative heads to Bristol, Connecticut, for the Mid-Atlantic tournament Aug. 4-10.
Regional winners converge on Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the annual Little League World Series. This year’s even is scheduled for Aug. 15-25.
Carroll County hasn’t had a Little League regional champ since Westminster won one in 1989. Evans is hoping Four County can snap a 30-year drought.
The All-Stars’ 12-year-olds are Caleb Evans, Korkosz, Gapen, Oetken, Scarzello, Bryce Meyer, and J.P Shultz. Four County has six 11-year-olds in Humbel, Kearns, Aidan Nilan, Caden Roosa, Cooper Thompson, and Justin Witmer.
Humbel, Kearns, Nilan, and Witmer, among others, were part of Four County’s 8-10 team that won a District 2 title last summer and made a run to the state championship game — Conococheague prevailed 1-0 in the final behind a no-hitter.
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The 11-12 All-Stars are set to play again Sunday no matter the result of their first game. The winner of Saturday morning’s game gets the winner of Frederick National and Mountain Valley on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The loser of that first game dips into the elimination bracket and will face the Frederick National-Mountain Valley loser on Sunday at 3.
Jason Evans said he’s banking on Four County’s experience carrying it throughout the district tournament.
“A lot of of them have absorbed, it, applied it, and made themselves better,” Evans said. “They look forward to it.”
8-10 District 2 tournament
Four County saw its All-Stars team bow out of the District 2 tournament Wednesday evening when Thurmont got past the home team 5-3.
Four County lost to Montgomery County Lower 8-4 in its tourney opener June 29, but blasted East Frederick 21-1 the following day and took care of Frederick National 15-9 on July 1. The All-Stars hosted Thurmont on July 2, but the game was halted in the third inning because of inclement weather and resumed July 3.
Four County won the 8-10 District 2 championship in 2018.