While the Mayo American Legion baseball team extended its run for a third consecutive Maryland state title, Cissell Saxon stayed home disconsolate, the victim of two upset losses to Gaithersburg Post 295 in the Montgomery County playoffs.
Saxon (19-4) of Silver Spring had been the overwhelming favorite to advance to this week's state tournament in Hagerstown, attempting to win the title for Coach Gene Bevello, who's retiring after more than 35 years in organized baseball. To get there, the team first had to slide past not one, but two teams from Gaithersburg, representing Posts 104 and 295.
Saxon fought its way back through the losers bracket to reach the champion game with Post 295. But just as it had lost leads in earlier tournament games, Saxon again could not protect a lead.
After surrendering back-to-back home runs in the first inning to trail, 2-0, Saxon recovered to lead, 6-2. But in the sixth, Saxon committed two bases-full errors, helping Post 295 to a 9-6 victory.
It was a difficult way to end the season for Saxon, and a career for Bevello. "I'm unhappy because I'm retiring, but I'm more unhappy for the kids," he said. "But they'll be back next year." Saxon will have 12 of 18 players, including seven starters, returning. . . .
Gaithersburg 295 was eliminated from the state tournament Monday as it lost to Funkstown, 12-5. . . .
In the Anne Arundel County American Legion league, there were no playoffs under their winner-take-all system, and Mayo certainly took all this summer.
Mayo finished 54-6 competing in three leagues -- Legion, Connie Mack and Eddie Brooks 20-and-under.
Pitcher Mark Foster, an Old Mill alumnus entering his sophomore year at Richmond, is 10-0 and leads the team in steals and RBI.
Rebels Finish 8th
The Capital Rebels, an all-star team composed primarily of players from Montgomery County, finished eighth last week in the 24-team national AAU 16-and-under baseball tournament in Clearwater, Fla.
The Rebels won their first three games to advance to the tournament's medal round, but lost their final four games.
"We didn't play well," said Coach Aubrey Raymond. "Our pitching was decent, but our hitting failed us."
Among the Rebels who had good offensive weeks were designated hitter Chea Choi of Georgetown Prep (.455), catcher Chris Rascher of Prep (.333) and center fielder Greg Solomon of Bullis (.333).
Montgomery County's men's C slow-pitch softball nightly tournament champions will meet tonight at Cabin John Park in Bethesda to vie for the overall county championship.
Singleton Electric, which won Saturday's tournament among the regular season first and second place teams in all Thursday divisions, will play Monday night champion Big Lou's in an opening-round game at 6.
The winner of that game meets Wednesday champion ATR at 7 in the semifinals. The other semifinal matches Friday/Sunday winner Dark Side Knights and Tuesday champion Gas House Gang at 6:30. The title game, on Field No. 2, will be at 8:15. . . .
End Zone Restaurant (14-4) claimed the Gaithersburg 35-and-over league title with a 9-1 tournament final victory over Body Masters. First baseman/designated hitter Ken Callow hit .640 to earn the playoff most valuable player award.
In the Gaithersburg men's C tournament, Classic Auto Body (17-5), led by MVP shortstop Jeff Heckman, rose out of the losers bracket to win the title.
Among the winners in Anne Arundel County slow-pitch softball this summer was a team representing the county police department. Playing under the moniker "The Lawmen," it finished 14-0 in the Monday night "C" league. The Lawmen were led by pitcher/catcher Steve McBee (15 home runs) and left fielder Mark Robey (batted over .500).