The Indiana County Youth Legion championship trophy will remain in Indiana County.
S.W. Jack made sure of that Wednesday evening, following the lead of Marion Center in the league playoffs and knocking the second team from a neighboring county out of the picture.
S.W. Jack rolled past Armstrong, 9-4, winning a second straight game to take the best-of-three semifinal series from the visitors from Kittanning, two games to one, at the White Township Recreation Complex. On Tuesday, Marion Center finished off its sweep of S&T Bank of Punxsutawney.
That means the two Indiana County entries will contest the title beginning this evening at top-seeded Marion Center in the best-of-three series. Both teams also earned berths in the Western Regional tournament, along with host team S&T Bank. The tournament will be held July 16 to 19. The state tournament is July 24 to 28 at Berwick.
S.W. Jack, which dropped the opening game, rallied late to win 11-5 on Tuesday, avoided some early raindrops on Wednesday and then poured it on after allowing a run in the top of the first. The second-seeded Drillers responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning and five in the second for an 8-1 lead. Armstrong countered with three runs in the third and was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Kadin Homer drew the start and yielded three runs before turning the game over to relievers Hunter Martin and Garret Minnick, who shut out Armstrong on one hit over the final 31/3 innings. Homer pitched the first 32/3 innings. Martin came on for 21/3 innings and struck out five without issuing a walk. Minnick pitched the final innings.
In all, S.W. Jack pitchers registered 10 strikeouts, and neither reliever issued a walk. Armstrong managed only four hits.
S.W. Jack avoided some early raindrops and then poured it on the visitors despite managing only three hits. Ten walks and two hit batsmen fueled the Drillers. They scored three times in the first, all with no outs, starting the rally with three walks and a hit batsman that accounted for the first run.
Michael Dolan stepped in next and belted a two-run double to put S.W. Jack ahead for good. He also doubled later in the game for his second hit.
In the second inning, two walks and Martin’s single again loaded the bases, and two runs scored on an error on Michael Tortorella’s grounder. A hit batsman and two walks, all with the bases loaded, accounted for the other three runs.
Dolan finished with two of S.W. Jack’s three hits and drove in two runs. Martin, Tortorella, Tristan Redinger, Homer, Jonathan Cribbs and Evan Brocious also were credited with RBIs.
Trevor Smith, Martin and Tortorella each scored twice.
Jaden Sims had two hits and an RBI for Armstrong.