New Windsor all-star team wins tourney with last-inning heroics


July 25, 1996|By Judy Reilly | Judy Reilly,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT HAD THE THRILL of the Olympics, the competitive edge of a major league game and the happy ending of a Disney movie.

One night this week, in Tasker's Chance Fields in nearby Frederick, the New Windsor Minor League All-Star team won the championship game of the Dean Taylor Memorial Tournament -- in a one-run game.

It was the first time in recent New Windsor baseball history that a team had won a championship.

The boys were composed on the bench as their teammates stepped up to the plate during the last inning. All they needed was one run to clinch the game.

The boys' parents were less calm, sitting on the edge of their bleacher seats, coaching from the sidelines, holding their breath. Pint-sized Eric Alban scored the winning run.

The boys put on quite a show throughout the game. They chased runners trying to steal a base and tagged them out. They made tough, surprising catches. They made plays at home, sending the opposition back to the dugout. At bat, the boys hit the ball hard or struck out with passion. It was inspiring.

New Windsor was invited to participate in this tournament, and 14 boys, ages 9-12, were chosen. Team members included Eric Alban, Andy Bohn, Daniel Bridges, Josh Hoff, Billy Hoover, Brian Horr, Chris Kram, Casper Mills, Greg Mastalerz, Nick Monroe, Joe Reilly, Mike Schoonover, George Shifflett and Daniel Simmons.

Tim Shue is the manager. He is assisted by Randy Bridges, Jack Kram, Frank Mastalerz, Glen Monroe and Charlie Topper.

Shue, an engineer for Lisn Inc. in New Windsor, moved to Carroll less than a year ago, and got involved in recreation council baseball in the spring when he coached his son's team.

Shue has a low-key personality, a matter-of-fact coaching style, and a philosophy of letting all the boys play.

"I give all the kids a fair chance to play," he said. "And I just don't go for the win, but the fun of playing baseball."

His cool coaching style, he says, comes from trying to concentrate on the game and make the right moves.

"I have nightmares for weeks if I make a mistake that can cost a game," he said. Shue, and the boys on his tournament team, can sleep well the rest of the summer.

Pony show winner

Congratulations to Jennifer Furman of Fox Run Pony Club, who won the regional rally for show jumping earlier this month at a competition in Chambersburg, Pa.

Her win at the show qualifies her to advance to a U.S. Pony Club team competition next month in Culpeper, Va. Jennifer and her mount compete in the large pony category.

The Francis Scott Key High School sophomore has been riding since she was 2 and has taken riding lessons since she was 9.

Her newly formed pony club has 10 members from Carroll and nearby Adams County in Pennsylvania. Information: 876-9357.

Unforgettable birthday

Eric Offut of New Windsor has been 11 years old for a month, but the boys and girls who attended his party are still talking about it, still munching on the stuff in their party bags, and displaying souvenir African masks and wearing beaded necklaces they made at the party.

The Offuts prepare for Eric's parties with gusto and devotion. Each year, they choose a theme, learn about it and put on a celebration.

One year, the family became experts on the Middle Ages when the party theme revolved around medieval knights. For Eric's recent birthday, they explored Africa.

After searching through reference books, they began cutting mask shapes for partygoers to embellish and hand-crafting fancy clay beads for leather necklaces.

They bought glow-in-the-dark paint to draw animal prints in the grass for an after-dark treasure hunt, invented a blow-dart game using cotton tips and straws, and filled balloons with colored water so that teams of children had weapons to fight a jungle beast.

The Offuts spend about a year planning the kind of party everyone remembers. How long will they keep it up?

"As long as Eric wants a party, and his friends stay interested," said Eric's mother, Debbie.

Bike tour comes to town

We live on the bike route of Cycle Across Maryland, and it's been fun to watch riders pedal by the house.

It's also amazing that they're barely winded after the long climb up Uniontown Road from Westminster.

We've enjoyed the friendliness of the cyclists and the humorous statements made by some of their safety helmets.

One had a mini-Ferris wheel on top, and another sported devilish horns.

New Lions Club officers

Newly elected officers of Taneytown Lions Club are:

President, W. Robert Flickinger; board members, Leonard Wantz Jr., Donald Woodhams, Claude Elmore, George Sauble, Henry Reindollar, Donald Lawyer, Jim Storey, Carl Griffiths, Arnie Otte, Fern Haines, Fred Martin, Kenneth Mays and Richard Poole.

The club has 35 committees this year.

Pub Date: 7/25/96

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