Coach Ed Glaeser is pessimistic about Chaney Enterprises' chances of winning its seventh straight division title this summer.
"We're more of a pretender type of team, instead of a contender," said Glaeser, whose Waldorf-based American Legion team had a 12-6 division record (tied for second) and was 21-10 overall through last weekend. "But we're going to give it a go, we're not going to give it up. . . . Pitching keeps us in there."
Nick Vitielliss, a draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, has anchored the starting rotation and the offensive lineup. Last week, he pitched a complete game as Chaney beat division-leading Greenbelt, 3-2. Vitielliss is also one of two players hitting over .300 for the team, the other being center fielder Mike Finamore.
Several other pitchers also are carrying Chaney, both on the mound and at the plate:
Kenny Myers is the starting third baseman and is leading the team in most offensive categories.
Mike Wagner -- playing in the outfield -- had the winning hit against Greenbelt. Five days later, he gave up two earned runs as a pitcher in a 4-0 loss to Bordertown, W. Va.
Also last week, Nick Rose pitched six innings of one-run ball as Chaney defeated defending state champion Frederick, 8-1.
And Mike Boyce gave up three earned runs in a complete-game performance as Chaney lost to a team from Delaware. Boyce, who was 4-0 before the loss, was taking the place of Griffin Zarbough.
Now Zarbough is back, after suffering from the early stages of mononucleosis that caused him to miss the first month of the season.
"Usually we have a three-man rotation, but that was all [the pitchers] did," Glaeser said. "But now they play -- out of necessity, because our other players aren't good enough to start consistently. So we go with a five-man rotation out of necessity, so they can rest."
Adds Glaeser: "We have a patchwork team right now, but pitching is our strength. We could go into a week, play six games and still have enough pitching."
Post 82 Goes 2-2 at Tourney
The Design Corps Post 82 team of La Plata spent last week in the Great Smoky Mountains at the Tennessee Big Fourth tournament in Dandridge. After winning the tournament last year, Design Corps went 2-2 this summer.
The tournament draws teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio, according to Design Corps Coach Dan Devitis. The winner of the tournament is decided by the fewest total runs allowed, which didn't favor Design Corps this summer. Scores from two of the team's games were 16-13 and 13-10.
"So that might help us win a football tournament, but not a baseball tournament," Devitis said. "But we weren't there to win the tournament. We were there to have fun, and we did."
Mike Mills hit three home runs to increase his summer total to seven, and Darren Peterson added two home runs.
Pitchers Lee Quade and T.J. Thompson have been experiencing "dead-arm" symptoms, according to Devitis, and pitched only a combined five innings. Another pitcher, Ian Campbell, pulled his elbow in a game against Chaney recently and has been out. He should return in about a week, Devitis said.
CAPTION: Nick Vitielliss has been a standout for Chaney Enterprises, both as a pitcher and a hitter. Coach Ed Glaeser said a talent shortage has forced him to use many of his pitchers at more than one position.