Rangers end season with an impressive flourish


August 23, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A CINDERELLA season" is how manager Mike Shue describes Carroll County Rangers' 1996 baseball season. The team of 11- and 12-year-olds finished its freshman season on a high note, placing third in the American Amateur Baseball Congress Pee Wee Reese World Series Tournament in Puerto Rico earlier this month.

The boys and their families returned from the five-day tournament Aug. 12. The Rangers were one of only eight teams from the United States. They competed against teams from Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, California, Ohio and Puerto Rico.

The Rangers finished their regular season with a 25-7 record. They won a series, 2-0, against the Maryland Orioles Orange for the state title. They advanced to the North East Regionals in New Jersey and again were undefeated.

Jimmy Dahlgren, a first baseman and pitcher from Mount Airy, said the boys joked and dreamed about the possibility of making it to the world series early in the season.

"Coming in third in the world is pretty good," he said.

Kevin Pyzik, also a first baseman from Mount Airy, said the experience was "pretty exciting." He admitted that he was nervous playing in front of noisy crowds in a large stadium. The Puerto Rican fans cheered their teams with drums and other noisemakers, making it hard for visiting teams to concentrate.

The Carroll County Rangers, who have played together since March, won their first two games in the series, defeating teams from Michigan and Puerto Rico. They lost the next two games to Texas and Puerto Rico teams, which eliminated them from the series.

The Texas team went on to win the world title.

The boys were "treated like kings," said coach Matt Pyzik.

Opening ceremonies included a parade, complete with floats, dignitaries and police escort. A banquet was held, and the boys were given a special tour of Old San Juan.

"I didn't think the opening ceremonies would be that big," said Mike Rostek of Parkton in Baltimore County, who plays third base and left field and pitches. Mike was impressed with the security surrounding the event and with the respect shown the players.

The Rangers found the communication barrier to be only a minor problem during the tournament. Ranger coaches Pyzik, Dave Lowrey and Steve Centineo found it difficult to communicate with the umpires, who were all Puerto Rican.

"I don't know if the kids fully appreciated how big of an accomplishment it was," Shue said of their third-place finish in the world series. "There were 2,000 teams registered to play in this league. We were the first team in Maryland to ever win a trophy round."

Other team members are Justin Bullock, Kevin Cate, Dave Centineo, Mike Dougherty, Joe Dichiara, Doug Gillis, Steven Goad, Andy Lindner, Bryan Lowrey, Mike McCaughey, Brandon Shue, Bobby Smith and Josh Wingeart.

Rainbow support

Rainbow support groups are being formed at Calvary United Methodist Church, 403 S. Main St., Mount Airy.

Rainbow is a support group for children who have experienced death, divorce, separation or abandonment. The program consists of 12 sessions in which children share feelings and fears, sort through their confusion and begin a process of healing. The group is led by trained adults.

Registration is open to children from kindergarten through grade 12, regardless of religious background. An orientation meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the church.

Information: 829-0358.

Bike fest

For those curious about tandem and recumbent bikes, and maybe even wanting to take a ride on one, the annual TanDemO/Benefit event comes to Mount Airy this weekend.

The event begins tomorrow with an introductory program about the bikes, a buffet and an ice-cream social. A workshop on tandems, which are two- or three-seaters, and recumbents, low-slung bikes with chairlike seats, will be held as well as a question-and-answer period.

On Sunday, breakfast and rides will begin at 9: 30 a.m. A bicycle stunt will begin at 5 p.m.

Unwanted bicycles will be collected as donations to the Mount Airy Jaycees.

The event will be at 1870 Long Corner Road.

Information: Larry Black, 854-6876 or (410) 795-2929.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/23/96

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