Putty Hill celebrates 2nd national title 13-14 team reaches Memorial Stadium

August 11, 1993|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Staff Writer

The Putty Hill Metro baseball team took some victory laps Sunday at Memorial Stadium in celebration of its second consecutive world series title.

In an exhibition game against the Harford Sox on 33rd Street, the Putty Hill 13-14 team lapped the bases 11 times in one inning to cap its championship year.

The final score was insignificant, with the scoring being handled by a Putty Hill player making strokes in the dirt for every run.

The game intended a chance for both teams to play at Memorial Stadium.

For Justin Singleton, 14, son of former Oriole Ken Singleton, it was a chance to move from his accustomed role as pitcher to his father's area in right field for a few innings.

Unlike his father, Justin Singleton feels more comfortable on the mound rather than facing it.

The Putty Hill ace allowed three earned runs in 12 innings as he pocketed two of the team's five wins in the National Amateur Federation World Series in Northville, Mich., last week.

Singleton threw a four-hitter in Putty Hill's 6-0 title-clinching win over West Bloomfield, Mich., and for his pitching heroics, he was named the world series' Most Valuable Player.

Even at the start of the season, Singleton was not intimidated coming onto a team that had won the championship before and the expectations placed upon him because of his famous father.

"When I first joined the team, I thought they would expect a lot from me," Singleton said. "But once I played, I was just like everybody else on the team. That's why I like this team so much."

Putty Hill had four returnees from last season's team. The season seemed promising at the beginning when 60 players tried out for the 11 remaining spots.

"I couldn't believe we had that many kids coming to our meeting in February," manager Keith Heaps said. "It's because of the reputation we established. We had kids coming in with the articles published about us last year in their hands. They wanted to play for a winning team that would get recognized."

But the once-promising season turned rocky with Putty Hill beginning 14-6, well off its 38-5 season of 1992.

Its sixth loss was a 12-9 defeat to the Yankee Rebels "A" squad. Putty Hill had taken a 14-12 lead in the game but were handed the 12-9 loss because the final inning was not completed due to darkness.

"Something snapped," Heaps said. "It began to bother them more than it bothered us. Until then, they were playing suspect and I was getting a little worried."

Putty Hill then reeled off wins in its final eight regular-season games, all six regional matchups and the world series opener before losing again. The team finished with a 33-6 record.

It lost in its second game at Northville to West Bloomfield, 4-1, to be placed in the losers bracket of the double-elimination tournament. But Putty Hill went on to win its final four, including two over West Bloomfield, for the world series crown.

Adam Heaps, 14, the manager's son, combined with Brad Sunshine for a three-hitter in a 2-0 win in their fourth game in the world series. Sunshine, 13, was 7-0 with five saves for the season.

Putty Hill's made only four errors in the world series. The infield combined to convert eight double plays.

Adam Heaps, who along with Yani Rosenberg were the only two starters on both championship squads, savors this year's title more than the one in 1992.

"This year, we had to come out of the losers bracket to win it," Heaps said. "Plus winning it twice is a feat. To experience that feeling again was the best."

The remaining Putty Hill starters included third baseman Adam Nastalki, who hit a two-run homer in the final game, first baseman Shane Rhodes, second baseman Jeff Jasper, shortstop Mike Jenkins, catcher Robert Staftny and right fielder Collin Snow.

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