Philipsburg-Osceola outslugs Four Leaf Clover, 15-13, in 11 and 12s|
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
PHILIPSBURG - When teams combine for 28 runs on 33 hits with seven doubles and seven home runs, chances are pitching isn't going to decide the outcome of the contest.
Each of the three Philipsburg-Osceola 11- and 12-year-old all-star pitchers from Monday's game with Four Leaf Clover can stake their claims otherwise.
Four Leaf Clover, which fell behind 7-0 after the first half-inning, left 11 runners on base, including nine in scoring position, as P-O squeaked out a 15-13 win in a District 5 Northern Tier winner's bracket contest in Philipsburg.
P-O responded to rally after rally from Four Leaf and each pitcher worked out of a jam, including Brandon Anderson recording the save in the sixth with the winning run at the plate.
Anderson induced Dylan Confer, the only hitter he faced, to bounce into a fielder's choice with runners on the corners to preserve the win.
"The pitching really worked well when they needed to," said P-O manager Lenny Martin. "When they needed to throw strikes, it was there. They had some nice changeups and curveballs and kept (Four Leaf) off-balance.
"That's a good ballclub over there. Four Leaf plays well. They hit the ball and we knew that coming in. We just had to try to outhit them. ... You have to try to work around some of their hitters. The ones that typically do, did tonight as well."
P-O swung the hot bat from the onset, getting to Confer with a 7-spot in the top of the first with Gage Coudriet and Carson Jones each hitting 2-run singles in the frame.
Once Four Leaf Clover pulled to within three after a 4-run second, Hunter Ammerman began the home run barrage for P-O, which connected on four - including three straight blasts in the fourth.
"It was nice to have a lead," Martin said, "but we knew seven wasn't enough on this team. The kids really hit the ball well, and the ones that hit home runs are the ones that generally hit the ball out.
"They're all capable and they brought it whenever it was needed."
Mason Martin, Coudriet and Micah Martin followed one another with round-trippers for P-O, which added two in the fifth to take command, 15-6.
Four Leaf Clover's Jesse Thompson quickly changed any thoughts the game was over, as his grand slam on the first pitch he saw from Josh Bryan pulled his squad to within five.
Teammate Ty Bender belted a 3-run shot one inning later, but Anderson closed the door by inducing the grounder off Confer's bat.
"I was expecting this kind of game," said Four Leaf Clover manager Tim Morgan. "They hit the ball well, and I have to credit my guys for never, ever quitting. They came back and made a game of it.
"We came back and made it 7-4, and then it was 15-6 and we got it to 15-10 and then 15-13. We had guys on in scoring position (in the sixth), and we just couldn't get the ball through the infield."
Four Leaf Clover also had a home run from Zane Morgan, who narrowly missed his second in the fourth inning when his ball struck the pipe atop the fence in right-center field and resulted in a double following a two-out error.
Bender also had a chance to draw his team even closer after Morgan's 2-run shot, but P-O starter Josh Earnest froze him on a full-count offering with the bases loaded.
Luke McGonigal and Jimmy Pilosky, who doubled, each had three hits for Four Leaf, which got two apiece from Bender, Thompson, Micah Heichel and Zane Morgan.
Thayne Morgan also had a double in the loss.
"A few bounces here or there," coach Morgan said, "and this game is a different story. We hit the top of the fence with a guy on and didn't get either one in. That would have made it 15-15.
"They say baseball is a game of inches, and we just didn't get the inches tonight."
The offensive onslaught continued for P-O, which has scored 15 runs in each of its first two D-5 contests.
Coudriet and Micah Martin were each a triple shy of the cycle, while Earnest - who earned the win on the mound - Anderson, Ammerman and Jones each smacked two hits.
P-O will host Clearfield on Friday in the winner's bracket final, while Four Leaf Clover will host Curwensville on Wednesday in a loser's bracket matchup.
"We fully expect to get back and have another chance at this," Morgan said. "We're in the loser's bracket, so we'll have to beat everyone we play to get to the championship. That's our goal, and we have the team that can do it."
Bryan ss-p-1b 4111, Johnson 2b 4010, Earnest p-ss 5320, Ma. Martin 3b 3312, Coudriet c 4234, Mi. Martin cf 4232, Anderson 1b-p 4121, Ammerman rf 3222, Kephart rf 1000, Jones lf 3122, McDonald lf 1000. Totals: 36-15-17-14.
Four Leaf Clover-13
McGonigal 3b 5231, T. Morgan cf-p 4210, Bender c 3225, Thompson 1b 5124, Heichel 2b 5020, Confer p-ss 4210, Z. Morgan ss-p-cf 3222, Dixson rf 3000, Myers rf 1000, Pilosky lf 3230, Emigh lf 1000. Totals: 37-13-16-12.
Score By Innings
Philipsburg-Osceola 702 420-15 17 3
Four Leaf Clover 042 043-13 16 4
Errors-Mi. Martin, Ma. Martin, Bryan; T. Morgan, Z. Morgan, Confer, McGonigal. LOB-P-O 5, Four Leaf 11. 2B-Johnson, Earnest, Coudriet, Mi. Martin; T. Morgan, Z. Morgan, Pilosky. HR-Ammerman (1 on, 3rd inning), Ma. Martin (1 on, 4th), Coudriet (solo, 4th), Mi. Martin (solo, 4th); Z. Morgan (1 on, 3rd), Thompson (grand slam, 5th), Bender (2 on, 6th). HBP-Confer (by Earnest). WP-Bryan 1. PB-Coudriet 4.
P-O: Earnest-3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO; Bryan-2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO; Anderson-1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO.
Four Leaf: Confer-2/3 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO; Z. Morgan-2 1/3 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO; T. Morgan-3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO.
WP-Earnest. LP-Confer. Sv-Anderson.