Matt Filderman gave up three hits in 5 2/3 innings and Jonathan Weaver went 2 for 3 with a triple as the Upper Montgomery Athletic Club (UMAC) Thunder won the Maryland Babe Ruth Baseball Bambino Division title with a 4-2 victory over the Solomons Island Yankees July 21 in California, Md.
Kevin Collins retired the final batter to earn a save and Willie Greenberg made several nice plays at third base. Addy Holmes, Kyle Esche, Michael Ferrante, Paul Potemra, Dan Ryan, Nick Schultze, Eric Weller and Thomas Wolfe also played well for the Thunder, which won state titles in 1997 and 1998.
The Thunder began the tournament with a 14-0 win over St. Mary's. Weller hit a three-run home run in the first inning and Ryan, Holmes and Filderman each pitched well. Collins, Greenberg, Potemra, Schultze and Wolfe had key hits.
The team improved to 2-0 with a 19-6 win over Calvert, but lost to Solomons Island, 9-7. They advanced to the championship round with a 13-3 win over the Mt. Airy All-Stars. Weller pitched a complete game and Ferrante drove in the winning run.
The Thunder forced a one-game playoff by beating the Yankees, 5-4. Ryan and Collins (triple) pitched well and Wolfe drove in the winning run. Greenberg and Potemra each singled and Weller had one RBI. The Thunder is coached by Scott Weaver, Tony Ferrante and Tom Collins.
UMAC's 12-year-old team also captured the state title last weekend with a 4-3 win over MARVA. Center fielder Brian Barrett threw out a runner at the plate in the third inning and Paul Goleb had an unassisted double play in the fifth. Rory Coakley struck out the side in the sixth to earn a save.
MARVA defeated UMAC, 7-0, in the opening round as Will Delawter pitched a one-hitter. But UMAC worked its way through the loser's bracket with a 4-3 win over St. Mary's and forced a one-game playoff by beating MARVA, 1-0. Coakley, Brett Fox and Brendan Holden pitched a combined six shutout innings and Brady Stouffer scored the winning run. Chris Dimopoulos, Seth Pearman, Chris Smith, Jeff Steyer and Justin Wood also played well. The team is coached by Randy Smith, Tim Fox and Fred Wood.
Both UMAC teams will represent Maryland at this weekend's Babe Ruth Regional Championship in Aston, Pa.
"We're super proud of both teams," said UMAC Vice President Jim Ridgway. "These kids have worked hard all year and we look forward to them doing well at the regional tournament. . . . Both of these teams went to regionals last year and I think that should give them a better insight on how to handle this level of play."