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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Sports

Little League: Four County needs extras to advance in 11-12 District 2 tourney (VIDEO)

MOUNT AIRY — Offense has carried the Four County Little League 11-12 All-Star team the past two years in the District 2 tournament.

Four County had outscored opponents 69-21 in four games last year, at the 10-11 level, and the first game of this summer's tournament. The All-Stars' strong lineup came through again Thursday night against Lower Montgomery County at Russell Windsor Field.

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And the visitors on the scoreboard did it in extra innings.

Shortstop Evan Schwartz drove in Justin Nicholls and Chase Rokisky with a two-out single to right-center field in the top of the seventh inning to key Four County's 12-8 come-from-behind victory in the second-round game of the double-elimination tournament.

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Eli Weigle also had a two-run single in the seventh, and Four County scored all four of its runs in the frame with two outs.

Second baseman Garhett Dickenson (3-for-4, 3 RBIs, home run) also led Four County's offense.

"You have got to love the fight that they have to put up four runs with two outs in the last inning," Four County manager Neil Weigle said. "Since (catcher) Brady Etzel went out (with a broken thumb), our motto has been, 'Next man up.' We have 12 guys that can put the ball in play."

Four County advances to play host Thurmont, the reigning state tournament champions, Saturday at 5 p.m.

"We played well tonight, but we have to play even better on Saturday," Weigle said. "They are much better."

Four County's players may have been concerned about whether they would advance after Lower Montgomery County scored three runs in the fifth inning to take an 8-7 lead.

Patrick Byar's two-run double into center field highlighted the inning. Byar accounted for the other run when he scored on an error. Lower Montgomery had led in only one other inning.

Four County jumped on Lower Montgomery starting pitcher Miles Kessler, a left-hander, for two runs in the top of the first inning.

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Schwartz led off with a single to left field and Dickenson followed with a home run over the right-center field fence.

Lower Montgomery answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on four hits and a walk. Kessler highlighted the inning with a two-run triple.

Four County kept up the pressure on Lower Montgomery in the second inning. Jake Campbell, Rokisky, and Kenny Humbel started off the inning with consecutive singles.

The visitors had three hits in the inning — run-scoring singles from Dickenson, Eli Weigle, and Garrett Averell — to push across four runs and take a 6-3 lead.

Kessler left the game after throwing 49 pitches in two innings and was replaced by Samuel Meyer.

Meyer pitched a scoreless third, but Four County scored a run off of him in the fourth to go ahead 7-4. Dickenson hit a ground rule double to left-center field and Cole Anderson drove him in with a single to left field.

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"They are a good offensive team," Lower Montgomery coach Andy Avillo said. "We just couldn't hold them down."

Neil Weigle raves about his offense, but also about his pitchers.

Humbel, his top pitcher, was effective against Lower Montgomery County. Humbel gave up three runs in the first inning, but yielded one run over the next 2 2/3 innings before being replaced by Schwartz.

Eli Weigle picked up the win by working the last three innings and giving one earned run.

"Kenny did exactly what we needed him to do — he got us into the fourth inning," the coach said. "I will put Eli out there every single time in a tough situation. He loves it."

NOTE: Neil Weigle said Lower Montgomery County filed a protest after the game because its coaches felt a Four County baserunner left a base too early with two outs in the seventh inning, before Four County scored the go-ahead runs.

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tworgo@baltsun.com

410-857-7896


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