2011 American Legion Baseball, MoCo Sports Fan

295 Snaps Damascus’s Streak

July 19, 2011

Gaithersburg Post 295 9- Damascus Post 171 2

Montgomery Division Winners Bracket Final

To err is human, and Tuesday Damascus Post 171 verified that idiom.

After rattling off an astounding 26 consecutive victories, mighty Post 171 fell in the Montgomery Division Winners Bracket title game. Damascus committed five errors and allowed six unearned runs en route to a drubbing at the hands of Gaithersburg Post 295.

“This is a team that has played well defensively all year and picked an odd time to break down,” said Damascus manager Tommy Davis. “Five errors are not acceptable at any level of play.”

With Peter Bowles on first in the game’s opening frame, Damascus’s Drew Knapp booted a Drew Karlin groundball and Palmer Scalzi let a chopper scoot into leftfield allowing Bowles. Michael Sarecky thought he had pitched his way out of a jam in the second inning until Scalzi overthrew Knapp on a routine Jason Williams groundball that would have been the third out, allowing Williams to advance to second on the play. Bowles drove a clutch two-out single to left and just like that Post 295 had an early 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Karlin was throwing a gem for Post 295. He lasted four scoreless innings allowing no runs over one hit and three walks while striking out four. The rest of his squad came to his aid and piled on more runs and forced more Damascus errors.

In the fourth, Williams slugged a solo homerun over Bentley Memorial Field’s (Sherwood High School) high rightfield fence and Bowles swiped home on a wild pitch.

Bobby Donson relieved him in the fifth and was just as dominant, surrendering only one run over two innings and Max Nicholson entered in the seventh to close things out.

“Drew hadn’t pitched since the last Monday in June. His shoulder was stiff so today was unbelievable. He had control of both his pitches so we’re extremely happy with him,” Gaithersburg manager Rick Price said. “Bobby hadn’t pitched in a while either. We’ve had so many injuries with our pitchers most haven’t been able to throw bullpens. Today was a shock to all of us that they were as good as they were.”

Though the Post 171 offense sputtered to an uncharacteristic halt (only the third time they have been held to two runs all season), 295 kept on hitting. Nick Wodoslawsky provided three tough innings for Damascus and was roughed up as well.

Teams often encounter pitching difficulties during intense playoff tournaments, but Post 295 seems to have averted these woes. Donson and Nicholson will be ready on a day’s rest to throw if needed in the Divisional Championship game on Thursday and Bowles leads a deep rotation that will be ready for the Maryland State Tournament beginning Monday, July 25.

A savvy Damascus coaching staff also saved innings by using only two pitchers and keeping starters Nathan Craft, Derek Fogelman and Adam Abramson and relievers Cody Jacobs, Wodoslawsky and Nick Kennedy in the stable.

Damascus will play Sandy Spring tomorrow at Sherwood to try and avenge their second loss of the season and claim the remaining spot in the Divisional Championship game.

“The key will be that we won’t go into panic mode,” Davis said of the loss. “Last time we lost we responded with 26 straight wins. We don’t need to respond, we just need to win two more ballgames and we’re right back in it.”

Players of the Game:

1) Drew Karlin—OFF: 1-2, RBI, 1B; DEF: 4 IP, 1 hit, 4 K, 0 ER

2) Peter Bowles—3-4, RBI, run scored, 3 1B, BB

3) Bobby Donson—OFF: 1-3, run scored, 1B, sac HP; DEF: 1 1/3 IP, 2 hits, K, 1 ER

            Next Stop: Divisional Championship Game

Winner [Sandy Spring Post 68 @ Damascus Post 171] @ Gaithersburg Post 295, Thursday 7/21/11, Sherwood HS (if 171 def. 68) or Seneca Valley HS (if 68 def. 171)

Love the story? Hate the story? Want score updates or Legion insider info? Follow me on Twitter: @jacobbogage

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