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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Sports

Little League: Four County stays alive with close win

MOUNT AIRY — The Four County Little League 11-12 All-Star baseball team was in a must-win situation Sunday, needing to defeat Frederick National to advance to the championship game of the District 2 tournament.

Mission accomplished.

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The pitching of Kenny Humbel and Eli Weigle, and the clutch hitting of Garrett Averell, added up to a 5-4 victory over Frederick in the consolation final at Russell Windsor Field.

Four County — helped by the offensive performances of Jake Campbell (2-for-3, RBI) and Chase Rokisky (2 runs scored, double, RBI) — had to overcome an early 3-0 deficit.

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"I looked at coach (Ken) Humbel and said, 'They might give me a stroke or heart attack after this week with these close games,'" said Four County manager Neil Weigle, whose team beat Lower Montgomery County, 12-8, in extra innings Thursday. "But they keep coming back and fighting. We have some leaders on the team and they pick each other up."

Four County moves onto to play host Thurmont on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the first final of the double-elimination tournament.

Thurmont, the reigning state champions, beat Weigle's squad 17-4 Saturday to send them to the loser's bracket. Four County needs to beat Thurmont twice to capture the district crown, so a second game is scheduled for Thursday if necessary.

"We are excited to get Thurmont again," Weigle said. "We know they are going to hit the ball and we have to hit with them."

Before Four County could advance, the All-Stars had to sweat out the win Sunday over Frederick.

With Four County leading 5-4, Frederick loaded the bases in the bottom of the six inning on a single, double and intentional walk But winning pitcher Eli Weigle wiggled out the two-out jam by getting Carson Gnusche to fly out to right field.

In the fifth inning, Four County scored the winning run. Averell drove in Garhett Dickenson, who had doubled beforehand.

Things weren't always going Four County's way.

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Frederick pushed across three runs (two earned) in the bottom of the first on three hits and two errors. Paul Krasts highlighted the inning with a run-scoring double.

"We have a lot of enthusiasm," Eli Weigle said. "We never get down on ourselves. We always have some kind of chant in the dugout every inning."

Four County answered with two runs in the second on three consecutive doubles.

Campbell laced a double off the left-center field fence and scored when Rokisky followed with a double down the left-field line. Then, Kenny Humbel, the starting pitcher, plated Rokisky with another double.

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Four County tied it at 3 in the third.

Dickenson reached on error, advanced to second on a wild pitch, went to third on Weigle's infield hit and scored when Weigle stole second.

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Four County went ahead, 4-3 for the first time in the fourth on two errors. Rokisky scored the run.

"I thought Four County had very timely hits," Frederick assistant coach Gary Levengood said. "They are solid all throughout the order."

Frederick tied it at 4 in the fourth. Xavier Kabir, who reached on an infield single, scored on a fielder's choice.

tworgo@baltsun.com

410-857-7896


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