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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
“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.”