Sykesville Post 223 player Robert Martin talks about the strengths of his team.
Sykesville Post 223 extended its winning streak to five games with a doubleheader sweep of Mount Airy Gold Star Post 191 at Liberty High on Saturday.
Sykesville blanked Post 191 in the first game, 8-0, behind the strong pitching performance of Brandon Shipley, then prevailed 9-8 in the afternoon contest in extra innings thanks to first baseman Robert Martin's run-scoring single.
Those results in the Western District Maryland games are a big change from earlier in the season, when Post 223 team bottomed out at 6-14-1.
That stretch included a 0-7 record in one-run games. One of those losses was at the hands of Mount Airy in mid-June.
"We knew we were capable of playing at a high level and we have finally gotten there," Sykesville assistant coach Trey Ludwig said. "Earlier in the year, we were just finding ourselves unfortunately on the wrong side of these one-run games. Now, things are starting to trend our way."
Sykesville manager George Richardson was brimming with pride after taking the two games from Mount Airy.
"They are a very good ball club," he said of the Gold Star Post 191 team with a 22-12 record. "And it's especially hard to sweep a doubleheader from them. It's definitely a highlight of the season."
Martin (4-for-4, four RBIs, two runs scored), center fielder Jonathan Money (3-for-4, two 2 runs) and third baseman Jonathan Cooper (1-for-2, two runs) led Sykesville to the Game 2 victory.
Sykesville railed 4-0 early and 8-5 before scoring the final five runs.
"We haven't been doing that," Richardson said of coming back in games earlier in the season. "We get down in games and we have a tendency of not wanting to get back up. You just have to keep fighting."
Mount Airy went ahead 8-5 in the top of the seventh inning with three runs. Third baseman Dominic Bianchini highlighted the inning with an RBI double. He finished three hits and scored two runs.
But Sykesville answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on three singles, a pair of walks, and an error. Deion Blackburn and Garrett Geidel each had run-scoring singles.
Sykesville won the game in the eighth when Martin's infield hit went of off shortstop Max Proctor and into left-center field.
Money, who led off with a single down the right-field line and stole second base, scored on the play.
Cooper picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief.