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Laurel Post 60 wins Montgomery County title

Laurel Post 60 wins Montgomery County title
Josh Mann throws a pitch for Laurel Post 60 during a game in 2018. Mann helped the Laurel team win the Montgomery County title again this summer. (Courtesy Photo / HANDOUT)

The American Legion Laurel Post 60 team won another Montgomery County baseball title this summer.

But the local team did so in a different and more challenging fashion than the prior four championships.

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Post 60 finished third in regular-season play in the four-team Montgomery County league. It won a play-in game against the No. 2 seed and then won the best-of-three series against regular-season champion Sandy Spring to capture its fifth title in six years.

In prior years, Post 60 was either first or second in regular-season play before winning the Montgomery County tournament crown.

Laurel Post 60 had lost five straight times to Sandy Spring before winning the last two games of the county tournament.

“The story of our team this year was injuries,” said pitching coach Doug Meyer, a 1977 graduate of Mt. Hebron.

That meant players had to adapt to lineup changes — and they did.

Casey Finkelston, a rising senior at River Hill, began the season as the shortstop and then had to become an emergency catcher.

Other Laurel residents on the roster included Carson Collier and Zach Geesaman, a pair of Atholton players who helped the Raiders reach the 3A East regional championship game this spring.

The top hitters for Laurel Post 60 were Josh Mann, a 2018 River Hill graduate, and Woodie Lynott, a River Hill product who smashed two home runs.

“It was really an up and down summer to say the least,” said Mann, the top pitcher for Post 60. “With all of the injuries it was what we expected. We had guys who wanted to stay and fight, and that is what we did.”

“We just keep battling. We finally broke through,” added Mann, who pitched for Division III York (Pa.) College in the spring.

Mann scored the winning run in the second game of the county tournament when Laurel scored five runs in the last of the seventh to beat Sandy Spring. He was also the starting pitcher as Post 60 won the third and deciding game against Sandy Spring.

The season came to an end when Post 60 lost its two games in the American Legion state tournament in Cumberland in late July.

Post 60 ended the season with a 14-19 record overall after playing a 12-game regular-season schedule and more than 20 non-league contests.

“It was a great season with many troubles along the way,” said pitcher Danny Arnedo, a 2018 graduate of Oakland Mills. “We made it count when we needed to. There was a lot of getting used to something and the next day someone was injured.”

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Arnedo will be a student in the fall at Howard Community College and would like to coach one day. He won’t forget the comeback win for the title over Sandy Spring.

“It was like a dream,” he said. “I can’t believe how much energy we picked up in that last inning. It is something I will remember forever.”

Arnedo was impressed by fellow pitcher Mann.

“He is a great pitcher and a great teammate, always pushing us to do better,” Arnedo said. “He is just unbelievable.”

Lucas Balda, a two-way player from River Hill, hopes to play club baseball as a freshman this coming year at Penn State.

River Hill graduate Danny Selby has had arm troubles and plans to attend college in Pennsylvania.

Alex Bolton, a graduate of Mt. Hebron, was at CCBC-Catonsville last season and plans to attend a junior college in Texas this coming year. Collier plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology.

Mann was 5-1 as a starter last year for York with a 4.71 ERA. He pitched in nine games, with eight starts.

“We knew when we played our best baseball there were no teams that could stay with us,” Mann said. “We brought it when it mattered. Our coaches told us the regular season is getting ready for the postseason.”

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