Baseball: A double dose of wins for Mount Airy

As the sun began to break out at Lindsay Browning Field early Saturday afternoon, so did the bats for Mount Airy Gold Star Post 191.

Locked in a pitcher’s duel, Mount Airy manager Tripp Staley huddled his team heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.


The move proved to be vital.

Sykesville starting pitcher Nathan Barber walked Max Procter and Colby Johnson, which fueled an offensive explosion and helped

The back end of Gold Star Post 191’s batting order led the home team to a 12-1 victory and a doubleheader sweep against rival Post 223.

Mount Airy's Eli Hageman slides safely into second as Sykesville shortstop Jonathan Cooper is unable to dig out a low throw to the base.
Mount Airy's Eli Hageman slides safely into second as Sykesville shortstop Jonathan Cooper is unable to dig out a low throw to the base. (Doug Kapustin / For the Carroll County Times)

An error, wild pitch, and RBIs from Reed Shumaker, Brad Foster, Max Proctor, Josh Taylor, and Sam Downs to combine for 11 runs in the half inning.

“We’re a gritty, grindy type team,” said Staley, whose team won Game 1 10-0. “When we hit the ball we’re all right, but that’s the first time in two weeks we’ve hit the ball.”

After splitting its first two Western Maryland District league games of the season, last week against Winchester Post 21 and Funkstown Post 211, Mount Airy bounced back and exercised the 10-run rule in both games Saturday.

Backed by a stout five-inning performance on the mound from starting pitcher Jake Santis, Mount Airy put together a complete game and secured the wins over Sykesville (2-4-2, 0-3) in the first meeting between the sides this season.

The opener, which was delayed an hour because of soggy conditions, was all Post 191.

Starting pitcher David Rivizzigno, a 2017 South Carroll graduate, posted five shutout innings of work. He allowed just one hit and fanned five batters, keeping things simple on the mound.

“I threw one off-speed pitch,” Rivizzigno said. “I was throwing straight fastballs the whole time.”

Rivizzigno said the outpouring of runs helped his confidence on the mound, and they came early and often.

Mount Airy used a strong first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Josh Taylor connected on a three-run home run, and Griffin Gill (South Carroll) added an RBI double. Gill tallied a pair of multi-hit games.

The runs continued and Post 191 extended its lead to 10-0 by the bottom of the fourth inning. James Andrews provided the only hit for Sykesville as it failed to provide an answer for the onslaught of runs from the opposition.

Post 223 manager Todd Fletcher noted that his team’s early-season struggles have revolved around hitting, but the squad still has confidence offensively moving forward.


“[We’ll] work with the kids and stay positive,” he said. “It’s a long season.”

Post 223 continues league play with a doubleheader matchup against Funkstown on Sunday.

For Post 191, it’s been a streaky season. Mount Airy opened the 2018 campaign with four straight wins, only to follow with four consecutive losses during a tough stretch against Wheeling Legion Post 1 in West Virginia.

Saturday’s wins extended a three-game winning streak, but Staley acknowledged there’s no room to settle. Gold Star Post 191 heads to Potomac State College for a doubleheader matchup against Romney Post 91.

“We can’t live in the moment,” Staley said. “We gotta move on from the moment because the moment’s passed now.”