MOUNT AIRY — Garrett Schwartzbeck had to think back a few years, trying to recall the last time he hit two triples in the same game.
“I think I was about 10 years old when I had two triples,” Schwartzbeck said.
During his five plate appearances against St. Mary’s Post 255 in the opening round of the Junior American Legion state tournament on Friday at Lindsey Browning Field, Schwartzbeck wasn’t really out to hit two triples, just put the ball in play, trying to help his team score some runs.
He ended up with three hits, the last two being triples, and an RBI. By then, Gold Star Post 191 was well on its way to a 20-0, five-inning rout of the Frank Riley League champion.
In both cases, Schwartzbeck wasn’t watching where his two three-baggers were going. He was busy watching the third base coach for signals on whether to hold at second or advance to third.
So when he tripled in the fourth and fifth, Schwartzbeck looked at the third base coach and saw his coach waving him around both times. “That’s what I’m supposed to do,” Schwartzbeck said.
Mount Airy advances to today’s noon winner’s bracket final against Funkstown’s Dixon-Troxell Post 211, which squeezed past Severn’s Post 276 4-3, in the early game on Friday. Mount Airy manager Ryan Staley doesn’t expect a one-sided result today.
“We split two games with them during the regular season,” Staley said. “We have to go out and play our game.”
Mount Airy’s game with St. Mary’s on Friday was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule. Had it not been for that mercy rule, the game would’ve seemed to go on forever.
The Gold Star Post batted around in a 13-run, 30-minute, first inning, sending 17 batters to the plate and chasing two St. Mary’s pitchers from the mound in the process. Mount Airy went on to add a single run in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Logan DeBord also had three hits for Mount Airy. Ryan Barthlow, Dylan Miller and Bryce Quartucci each had two hits with three RBIs.
Jake Turner had three RBIs. Max Steele had two hits with two RBIs. Matt Gelhard drove in two runs.
With Friday’s game so one-sided, Staley was able to save his pitching staff, keeping pitchers to 30 pitches or less, making all three eligible to pitch today. Garrett Osborne (29 pitches), Steele (30) and Ricky Lane (10) combined on a two-hitter, facing three batters over the minimum with three strikeouts.