Legion Ball

Francis Scott Key Post 11 pitcher Brady MacDonald delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of his team’s 12-0 win over Annapolis. MacDonald threw a no-hitter in a game that ended after four and a half innings because of the 10-run rule, facing two batters over the minimum.

It’s been four years since Frederick’s Francis Scott Key Post 11 American Legion Baseball team made it to the state tournament.

For first-year manager Matt Myers and his team, that’s way too long of a stretch between state tourney appearances. He’s hoping this year will be different.

Behind a no-hitter from Brady MacDonald, Annapolis Post 7 got the message loud and clear: This is a different Frederick legion team.

MacDonald faced two batters over the minimum, striking out four and walking two in Frederick’s 12-0 win Saturday at McCurdy Field. The game was called in the middle of the fifth inning because of the 10-run rule.

“This is a young team, but we’re hitting the ball well,” Frederick starting left fielder Lawson Tate said. “We’re getting off to a good start.”

Lawson did his part at the plate for Frederick (6-3), going 2-for-3 with a double and five RBIs.

Over the past few years, Frederick had struggled, falling out of contention for the Western Maryland District title late in the season. The team lacked timely hitting, consistent pitching and defense.

There was nothing wrong with any part of Frederick’s game on Saturday against Annapolis. It played errorless baseball, looking sharp.

But clearly, this was MacDonald’s day to shine on the mound.

He was in complete control, with his delivery sequence of fastballs, curveballs and change-ups keeping Annapolis guessing at the the plate.

“If I would fall behind in the count with my fastball, I’d come back with a curveball to throw them off-balance,” MacDonald said. “The team also made some great plays behind me.”

Of the two batters MacDonald walked, neither made it farther than first base. In both cases, the walks came with two outs, and MacDonald proceeded to retire the next batter in each inning.

“Brady was on his game today,” Myers said. “He looked really sharp.”

Frederick pounded out 13 hits against three Annapolis pitchers, batting around in the third inning (12 batters) for eight runs to break the game open. Annapolis reliever Christian Smith then held Frederick scoreless the rest of the way, pitching 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief after taking the mound in the third.

Eight of nine Frederick starters had at least one hit. Alex Tyeryar had three hits, missing hitting for the cycle when he struck out in the fourth. He said the team may not necessarily be a power-hitting squad, but there’s one thing Frederick is capable of at the plate.

Legion Ball

Francis Scott Key Post 11 third baseman Tanner Dixon dives to grab a ground ball in the top of the fifth inning before throwing to first base to record the final out of the game Saturday at McCurdy Field.

“Timely hittting,” Tyeryar said. “We put the ball in the right spots.”

While Frederick had an easy win on Saturday, it’s not going to be so easy in the coming weeks.

The district schedule starts on Tuesday against Woodsboro’s Glenn Eyler Post 282. There are six teams in the district this year, with Boonsboro’s Clopper-Michael Post 10 being the newest entry.

Tyeryar admitted the upcoming district schedule will be challenging, but he feels Frederick has what it takes to end the team’s four-year stretch of no state tournament appearances.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” he said.

Myers welcomes more teams in the district.

“That’s the beauty of baseball, very competitive,” he said. “We’re looking forward to this season.”

Nik Struntz and Trevor Barnhouse each added two hits for Frederick.

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