P-O holds off Loyalsock, 5-4|
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
WILLIAMSPORT - If the two-hour trip to Bowman Field wasn't tough enough, Mother Nature also wreaked havoc for the Philipsburg-Osceola baseball team on Monday. Only in the bottom of the first inning and 15 minutes into the game, a rain shower slammed the area to cause a one-hour delay.
However, the Mountie faithful who made the trip were not disappointed in the long run. P-O pounded eight hits behind a gutsy performance on the mound from Mark Curtis to hold off Loyalsock in the first round of the PIAA Class AA baseball tournament, 5-4.
"We were definitely nervous," said P-O head coach Doug Sankey. "Mark's pitch count was low and Robbie (Smith) has been around a while, so we were confident in leaving him in there. We had Cody Lee ready to go if we had to.
"I just thought the difference today was we got guys on base. We made some things happen."
The Mounties threatened in the top of the first inning with runners on second and third base. However, a strikeout from Lancer freshman pitcher Kyle Datres ended the rally. Datres entered the game with a perfect 9-0 record.
"We knew he was on three days' rest, and he's young," said Sankey. "We told our kids just to be patient and work the count. It's kind of been our style all year."
In return, Curtis only allowed a baserunner in each of the first two innings. The runners were stranded in both frames, with a flyout and a groundout to get out of the jams.
The scoreless tie was broken in the top of the third when Logan Walstrom led off the inning with a double down the left field line. After a wild pitch moved Walstrom over to third base, Mike Marcinko hit a flare to center field to score the contest's opening run.
The Mounties managed to load the bases with just one out in the next inning, but Datres got out of the jam with a strikeout and a flyout to end the threat.
Loyalsock cracked the run column in their half of the fourth.
With two outs and a runner at third base, Lancer Robbie Kline hit a groundball to third baseman Matt Kephart. Kline narrowly beat Kephart's throw to first base to allow the runner at third to tie the game at one.
In the top of the fifth, Loyalsock elected to bring in Luke Glavin for some relief work.
After a walk and a stolen base from Marcinko, Smith had a base hit to put runners at the corners. Smith managed to steal second base to put two runners in scoring position for Andrew Greenawalt.
Greenawalt didn't disappoint as he drilled a 1-0 fastball to score Marcinko and Smith. The two RBIs gave P-O a lead it wouldn't surrender.
"As soon as we saw him going out, we were ecstatic," said Greenawalt. "We knew we had to jump on the new kid, and that's what we did. You have to give props to Mike and Robbie with those clutch hits and getting on base for me."
"I got up there and I was just looking for that perfect pitch. I knew if I got that one right down the middle, I'd be able to get a good swing on it."
To follow in Marcinko and Smith's footsteps, Greenawalt also swiped second base.
Two batters later, Parker Watson ripped a single to score Greenawalt. Watson moved up two bases off a wild pitch on the next batter. Then, left fielder Matt Carpin singled to bring home Watson to put the Mounties up, 5-1. Carpin and Walstrom were both 2-for-3 on the day.
"The first kid we were battling every at-bat just trying to put something into right field," said Sankey. "Then, they brought in a kid that didn't throw as hard, but had pretty much the same delivery."
Curtis retired six straight batters from the last batter of the fourth inning all the way to the first two batters of the sixth. But, the Lancers sparked their own rally with two outs. After a walk and a base hit, Kline smashed a double down the right field line to score both runners. Kline came home on a single from Bailey Young to put the score at 5-4.
After another walk, Curtis was able to get Datres to ground out to second baseman Hunter Harris.
"Once they got that double, I said ‘Time to buckle down and get this last out,' said Curtis. "Once we got that last out, I felt pretty confident out there. There are some things I could've done better, but I felt pretty good out there."
After P-O was set down in order in the seventh, Curtis took the mound and quickly got a strikeout and a groundout. After a hit batter, Curtis earned a strikeout to end the game and send the P-O fans home happy.
The loss ended Loyalsock's streak of advancing to the state semifinals in the last three seasons. The Lancers are District 4 champions four out of the last five years.
The Mounties play again on Thursday at a site and time to be determined. They face either Pine Grove or Springfield Township in the quarterfinals
Marcinko ss 3111, Smith c 4110, Greenawalt rf 3112, Lee dh 4000, Harris 2b 0000, Watson 1b 3111, Curtis p 3000, Carpin lf 3021, Kephart 3b 3000, Walstrom cf 3120. Totals: 29-5-8-5.
Datres p-ss 4010, Webb rf 4000, Clark 1b 4010, Glavin 3b-p-lf 3010, Sosa pr 0100, Moore ss-3b 3000, Baggett ph 0000, Robbins pr 0100, Krizan 2b 1110, Kline dh 3113, Pawlikowski lf-p 0000, Young c 3011, Difrancesco cf 2000. Totals: 27-4-6-4.
Score by Innings
P-O 001 040 0-5 8 1
Loyalsock 000 103 0-4 6 1
Errors-Kephart; Glavin. LOB-Philipsburg-Osceola 7, Loyalsock 7. 2B-Walstrom; Kline. SB-Marcinko, Smith, Greenawalt, Lee, Walstrom; Sosa, Krizan. HBP-Glavin (by Curtis).
Philipsburg-Osceola: Curtis-7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO.
Loyalsock: Datres-4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO; Glavin-1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Pawlikowski-2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
WP-Curtis (8-1). LP-Glavin.