ICL BASEBALL: West Lebanon advances to semifinals
WEST LEBANON — West Lebanon scored in its last at-bat to beat Amfire Mining, 2-1, and advance in the Indiana County League baseball playoffs Thursday.
With Mike Percic on second, Josh Mottorn ripped a base hit into right field. Amfire right fielder Aaron Princes did not field the ball cleanly, and Percic jumped on the opportunity to race around third and score the game-winning run in the decisive game of the best-of-three quarterfinal-round series at Bertolino Field.
Fourth-seeded West Lebanon (14-15-1) will travel to Blairsville to take on the top-seeded Colts in Game 1 of their best-of-five semifinal series Sunday.
New Derry visits two-time defending league champion Bovard on Sunday in the other semifinal series.
The semifinal winners advance to the championship series, which is scheduled to begin next Sunday.
Mottorn, West Lebanon’s player-manager, stroked his second hit of the game on the game-winning play, and Amfire committed its second error of the game.
“It’s definitely a little nerve-racking being up there,” Mottorn said. “I’ve been in so many tough spots like that in the last few years, but it never seems to get any easier. I was just concentrating on hitting a ground ball or a little line drive into the outfield to try and score the run.”
Amfire Mining took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Danny Clark singled and later scored on Dylan Songer’s grounder.
West Lebanon tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the third when Shane Wingard walked, advanced to third on Tyler Beitel’s double and scored on Matt Rebyanski’s sacrifice fly.
Garrett Mack tossed a five-hitter to earn the win. He struck out five and walked four.
Jordan Hudzicki singled twice to lead Amfire Mining.
Clark, Troy Trimble and Trent Ream teamed up to fire a five-hitter in a losing effort.
Games at 2 p.m.
New Derry at Bovard
West Lebanon at Blairsville