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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Sports

Baseball: Four County gets offensive in 11-12 tourney opener

BOYDS — After the Four County Little League 10-11 all-star team advanced to the state tournament last summer by winning a district championship, the players from that squad badly want to repeat, or even better, build on that performance.

That same group of Four County players, now competing in the 11-12 bracket, took a step closer toward that goal by defeating Upper Montgomery Little League 10-5 on Tuesday at South Germantown Recreational Park in the tournament opener.

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Catcher Garrett Averell led Four County's offense with a solo home run and Eli Weigle picked up the win by pitching 2 1/3 innings in relief.

Four County, which has five players from Carroll County on its roster in Averell, Evan Schwartz, Kenny Humbel, Brady Etzel and Cole Anderson — advances to play Lower Montgomery Little League Thursday at 6 p.m. at Russell Windsor Field in Mount Airy.

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"We have to play better than we did today," said Four County manager Neil Weigle, whose team never trailed in its opening game of the double-elimination tournament. "We feel we can step it up another notch. We need to play a little more relaxed. I thought we were a little uptight today."

Neil Weigle had to be feeling pretty good in the early innings because his team didn't give up a run until the fourth.

Four County went ahead 2-0 in the top of the second inning.

Averell, who is filling in for Etzel (broken thumb) as the starting catcher, began the inning off by clubbing a home run over the center-field fence.

Averell and his teammates won the 10-11 District 2 tournament title last summer by outscoring four opponents by a combined 59-16. And Four County began its 11-12 district tourney with another double-digit performance, highlighted by a long home run.

"I was really shocked that I hit the home run," said Averell, who usually starts at first base. "But I was proud of myself."

Stephen Curry followed the homer by hitting a ball off the right-center field fence for a double. He later scored on an error.

Four County made it 3-0 in the fourth. Evan Shultz hit a one-out bloop single to right-center field, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an error.

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Humbel, Four County's starting pitcher, and Colby Jaeb combined to shutout Upper Montgomery Little League for the first three innings, but the home team tied the game in the fourth inning at 3.

Upper Montgomery got consecutive doubles from Aaron Ouyang and Brian Dwyer and a two-run homer over the right-center field fence from right fielder Hunter St. Denis to account for its runs.

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Upper Montgomery got four straight hits in the inning before Eli Weigle came on in relief to get three outs in the inning.

Four County took the lead for good in the fifth. The team pushed across four runs sent 10 batters to plate.

Jake Campbell (RBI double) and Shultz (run-scoring double) had the key hits in the inning.

Upper Montgomery cut the lead to 7-5 in the fifth, but Four County responded with three runs in the sixth as Weigle, Curry, and Justin Nicholls scored runs.

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"We love the fight in this team," Neil Weigle said. "They are a close-knit team and they don't give up. It was good to see them come back after the other team scored."

tworgo@baltsun.com

410-857-7896


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