Rain and then fog hampered the opening day of the Pennsylvania Youth American Legion State Tournament on Saturday at First Commonwealth Field in Homer City.
Walbeck Insurance, the host team, had to wait about a month from the end of the regular season to play again. The Homer City entry had to wait one more day when Saturday’s fourth and final game of the first day of the tournament was postponed due to fog.
The game against Upper Perkiomen was postponed at around 11:30 p.m., although both teams were ready to play on into the wee hours of the morning. Instead, they were scheduled to rise early today to play at 11:30 at the White Township Recreation Complex.
Today’s winner will get a break before taking on Beech Creek at First Commonwealth Field. The loser will go right back onto the field to play Hempfield East in an elimination game.
Earlier in day, rain pushed back the schedule, and the third game of the tournament wasn’t completed until after 10:30 p.m.
PHOTO: Millcreek players and coaches watched from the dugout at First Commonwealth Field during their game against Newtown in Saturday’s opening round of the state tournament. (MICHAEL WALKER/GAZETTE)
NEWTOWN 5, MILLCREEK 4: John Coppola ripped an RBI double in the top of the 10th inning to lift Newtown to a come-from-behind win over Millcreek.
Newtown, the Pottstown Eastern Regional tournament champ, will take on Western Regional tournament runner-up Murrysville in a winners’ bracket game at 5 p.m. today at First Commonwealth Field.
Millcreek, the third-place finisher in the Western Regional tournament, will face Scranton Eastern Regional tournament champ Bloomsburg in a losers’ bracket game at 11 a.m. today at the White Township Recreation Complex.
Coppola singled and then scored on a wild pitch to trim Millcreek’s lead to 4-3 in the top of the seventh. Tyler Nowmos walked and scored later in the inning on a balk to tie the game, 4-4.
Neither team mustered any additional offense until Newtown’s Jared Schram singled off reliever Landon Oddono in the top of the 10th. Four batters later, Coppola doubled with one out to score Schram for the eventual game-winning run.
Newtown reliever Seth Leuz handcuffed Millcreek after the Erie-based entry scored two runs in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
Leuz, who struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th, fanned nine, walked two and allowed one hit in four innings to get the victory.
Cole Hofmann went 3-for-4 and drove in a run to lead Newtown. Schram finished 2-for-5.
Noah Warren went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Millcreek. Oddono singled, doubled and drove in two runs.
Oddono struck out six and walked one in three innings to take the loss.
BEECH CREEK 5, HEMPFIELD EAST 4: With the potential game-tying and game-winning runs on base, Beech Creek pitcher Tanner Corl shook off the nerves and calmly averted a seventh-inning meltdown.
In the top of the seventh, Hempfield East plated a pair of runs and then put runners on second and third, only to watch Corl strike out Joe Ryan to secure a win.
Hempfield East, the Western Region champ, will play an elimination game today against the loser of today’s Upper Perkiomen-Walbeck Insurance game. Beech Creek, the Northampton Eastern Regional tournament champ, will square off with the winner in a winners’ bracket game tonight.
Beech Creek got on the board first, scoring two runs on two hits and an error in the bottom of the second inning.
An inning later, Beech Creek made it 4-0 by plating two runs on three hits and an error.
Then, with his team trailing 5-2 in the seventh, Hempfield East’s Austin Butler walked, advanced to third on consecutive ground balls and scored on an error to make it 5-3.
Jake Nesser followed with an RBI double that scored Mitch Golden, trimming Beech Creek’s lead to 5-4.
But with Nesser on third and Tommy Pellis on second, Corl struck out Ryan swinging to end the game.
Corl struck out three, walked two and allowed nine hits in a complete-game win.
Caleb Seyler, Landon Breon and Talon Falls each singled twice for Beech Creek.
Pellis singled three times to pace Hempfield East. Jake Hefner singled and doubled, and Zack Koskoska singled and drove in two runs.
MURRYSVILLE 9, BLOOMSBURG 1: Murrysville quickly turned a pitchers’ duel into a blowout, amassing 10 hits and plating the game’s last nine runs to coast to a win over Bloomsburg in an opening-round game.
Both teams play today. Western Regional tournament runner-up Murrysville takes Newtown in a winners’ bracket game, and Scranton Eastern Regional tournament champ Bloomsburg locks horns with Millcreek game in a losers’ bracket elimination game.
Murrysville trailed 1-0 before plating three runs on five hits and an error in the top of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead.
The following inning, Murrysville scored six runs on three hits, four walks and an error to stretch its lead to 9-1. Luciano Besh belted a bases-loaded triple to fuel the onslaught.
Staff ace Casen Wolinsky fired a three-hitter to get the win. Wolinsky struck out 11 and walked four. He also singled twice and drove in a run.
Joey Kegerreis singled three times and drove in a run for Murrysville.
Losing pitcher Devon Sanders struck out six and allowed three walks in 6 1-3 innings.