FSK Post 11 eliminated at state tourney -- Gazette.Net


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As exciting as the opportunity to play host to the Maryland American Legion baseball tournament was for Frederick FSK Post 11, things didn't end up as they had planned.

And that could partly be because of, well, poor planning.

After losing to Sandy Spring Post 68 on Thursday night in a game that ended just before 11 p.m., Frederick's next game was scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday at McCurdy Field. FSK lost that game, 9-2 against Wicomico Post 64.

“It's wrong. It's totally wrong. [The Department of Maryland American Legion State Baseball Committee] have all day to schedule two games and you bring a team back that got out of here around 11:30 [p.m.] last night. You bring them back and they have to play, they're not going to do well,” Post 11 coach Tom Long said of the committee's decision to have the loser of Thursday night's game play at 9 a.m. Friday.

Frederick was visibly sluggish at the start of the game in a sloppy first inning where Wicomico scored three runs against FSK starter C.J. Winpigler.

Winpigler — who only had logged 2 1/3 innings this season — struck out the first two batters of the game, but Wicomico rallied and scored three runs with two outs. Frederick wasn't sharp during that stretch as there were two passed balls, a wild pitch and an error at shortstop.

“I tried to get the team a couple innings. Try to fill some holes. The pitches were there, but they're a good-hitting team. They've been to states for a few years,” Winpigler, a right-hander, said of Post 64.

It didn't help that Wicomico starter Michael O'Neill delivered a sterling performance. The left-hander tossed a complete game and allowed two late runs. He yielded five hits, struck out five and walked four while throwing 128 pitches in what arguably was the second-best pitching performance of the tournament behind Sandy Spring's Sean Van Gieson's one-hitter.

“I'm sad about this year that it ended so soon. [Friday], it was because of a lack of rest,” Long said.

Frederick's tournament was disjointed from the start. Passing thunderstorms Tuesday forced FSK to finish its first game at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The plan was for them to then play the last game Wednesday, but the schedule ran long and FSK was forced to play at 9 a.m. Thursday, then again at 7:30 p.m. in a 15-10 loss to Sandy Spring.

Then again Friday morning.

“It was tough. [Thursday] night, I didn't get home until 11:30. Got to bed around 1 a.m. and then was up at 7. You just couldn't get into a routine with the rain and stuff. It was rough,” Winpigler said.

With FSK's offense unable to generate a sustained threat, Post 64 tacked on runs consistently after the three-run first. In the third, Jeff Geary hit a long home run off Winpigler to left-center field. Geary reached base four times and scored twice as Wicomico's lineup chipped away against Frederick relievers Nick Baker and John Willis, who each allowed two runs.

Frederick's best chance to score came in the eighth, when with two outs Travis Phelps and Winpigler drew back-to-back walks before Brian Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Michael Omelchenko had a chance to cut into the lead, but struck out looking.

Post 11 entered the tournament with a team batting average of .321, but collected a total of 10 hits in 18 innings during their back-to-back losses.

“We did well the first two games and then just kind of fell apart. The wheels kind of fell off,” Winpigler said.

ncammarota@gazette.net

Wicomico Post 64 9, Frederick FSK Post 11 2

Wicomico Post 64 (3-1) 311 020 011 -- 9 10 0

Frederick FSK Post 11 (2-2) 000 001 001 -- 2 5 2

WP: Michael O'Neill LP: C.J. Winpigler 2B: Post 64 -- Jeff Geary, Tyler Illian, Ryan McCulley. Post 11 -- Ian Foland, Matt Myers. HR: Post 64 -- Jeff Geary.