Four County’s 9-11 All-Stars faced a big “if” game Thursday evening against Montgomery County Lower in the Maryland District 2 Little League tournament.
If the All-Stars notched a win, their postseason would continue. If Four County fell, the summer fun would come to an end.
Manager Jason Evans said the approach was simple.
“We told them to come out here with some energy and play,” Evans said, “and the end result would take of itself.”
No ifs, ands, or buts, apparently.
Four County started strong and finished the same in taking care of Montgomery County Lower 11-6 at Russell Windsor Field.
The All-Stars are still in the hunt for a district championship, and a rematch with Brunswick is set for Friday at 6 p.m. Four County lost to Brunswick on Tuesday in the double-elimination tourney, but avoided the second loss with a balanced attack on offense.
Caleb Evans and AJ Korkosz had three RBIs apiece for Four County. Evans smacked a two-run triple in the fourth inning, part of the All-Stars’ five-run frame. Korkosz laced a two-run double in the first, which helped give Four County a 4-0 lead in the opening inning.
(Montgomery County won the coin toss to determine the home and visiting teams, and chose to be the home team.)
Montgomery County tied the score 4-4 with three runs in the first and one more in the second, and Thursday’s game had the makings of a slugfest. Add a 50-minute delayed start because of bad weather, and pitching became a premium.
Four County used a trio of arms in JP Shultz, Jack Scarzello, and Evans to keep Montgomery County at bay. The All-Stars’ offense responded with their five-run fourth, and scored twice more in the fifth to take command.
A string of five consecutive hits – singles from Scarzello and Bryce Meyer, the triple from Evans, and singles from Korkosz and Sam Gapen did the damage.
Scarzello, Evans, Korkosz, and Jonah Oetken had two hits apiece for Four County.
Zack Roach had a two-run triple in the first inning for Montgomery County Lower, and he and Ryan Graf had two RBIs each. The home team collected six hits through the first two innings, but mustered only three the rest of the way.
Montgomery County left the bases loaded in the fourth.
Credit the home team’s cold bats in part to Four County’s pitching – Evans came on the sixth, with darkness about to envelop the field, and tossed 15 pitches to finish the game.
Twelve of them went as strikes.
“It was a grind,” Evans said. “That was a good ballclub we just played. We made a lot of mistakes that I hope we don’t make going forward. But that’s why you play all six innings. They’re going to be tough from here on out.”
Brunswick blanked Four County 5-0 on Tuesday to reach the final and earn the right to play on its home field. Not to mention, in the double-elimination format, Four County needs two wins to capture the District 2 title.
Enjoying a win and scoring more than 10 runs was evident on the All-Stars’ faces. But Evans said he knows it won’t be easy to hit the road and notch a pair of wins.
Having played Brunswick a few days ago could be an advantage, however.