Four Leaf shuts out Curwensville|
Thursday, June 28, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
FRENCHVILLE - The Four Leaf Clover 11- and 12-year-old all-star team just simply smacked the ball around on Wednesday evening.
After giving up two long balls and eight runs scored in the first inning, Curwensville never managed to climb out of a big hole. Four Leaf Clover used four more homers to outslug Curwensville, 24-0 in four inning in the elimination round of the District 5 Northern Tier Little League Tournament.
"We have some kids that can pop it, and they did tonight," said Four Leaf Clover manager Tim Morgan. "I donated a dozen balls, and I don't think the umpire has any left."
After Luke McGonigal led off the contest with a double, Thayne Morgan started off the home run derby with a shot to right-center field to put his team up two from the get-go. After the homer, a couple walks were issued by Curwensville starting pitcher Bryce Timko, and a Jesse Thompson liner to left field scored both runs. Thompson ended up at third base on the play due to a two-base error. He scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to make the score 5-0.
With two outs and a runner at third base, it looked like Curwensville was going to get out of the inning on a strikeout to Malachi Dixson. But, the ball hit the dirt and Dixson was safe at first.
New Little League rules state that a runner can advance to first base on a dropped third strike. Dylan Confer scored on the play.
On the next batter, McGonigal hit a two-run shot to give Four Leaf Clover an 8-0 lead after only a half-inning of play.
"We definitely didn't come out the way we wanted to," said Curwensville manager Rich Terry. "To be down by that many that quick, it's just more than 11- and 12-year-olds can muster up."
Curwensville's best threat came in the bottom half of the inning.
With two outs, Timko hit a line drive double to right field. Then, Zach McClure hit a single up the middle to put runners at the corners. Avery Francisco drew a walk from Thompson, Four Leaf Clover's starting pitcher, but Thompson forced a groundout to end the inning and get out of the jam with no harm done.
Four Leaf Clover went back to work in the top of the second, as it scored five runs on five hits in the frame, including all five hits going for extra bases.
Zane Morgan and Confer hit back-to-back jacks in the inning. Micah Heichel hit a triple, while McGonigal and Ty Bender had doubles.
Four Leaf Clover scored 10 runs in the third inning on eight hits. The biggest highlight came from the bat of Bender, who hit a towering home run to left field. Thompson also hit a bomb in the inning.
"They're a very, very good hitting team," said Terry. "And the way we played today, you just can't play like that against a team like that.
"I keep saying the kids are better than that. They are. They didn't show it in their two games in districts. They'll bounce back. They're already thinking about enjoying their summer, and that's what kids do when they're 11 and 12."
Four Leaf Clover added another run in the fourth inning off Francisco, the third pitcher of the evening for Curwensville.
Thayne Morgan drove in the run on a fielder's choice. He was 2-for-4 with three runs and five RBIs while Thompson was 3-for-4 and knocked in six runs and scored three times.
Curwensville managed to get two walks in their last at-bats, but couldn't manufacture a run. McClure was one of Curwensville's bright spots with two of his team's four hits.
Four Leaf Clover hosts Tri-County tomorrow night in Frenchville. First pitch is slated for 6.
"It was really a team slugging effort," said Tim Morgan. "We played good defense, and our pitchers kept it around the plate."
"They have to know that the competition gets tougher and tougher as they go. And that's hard to tell a young kid after they have a game like this. But we told them to not expect this to happen again. Hopefully, we can keep winning, saving our pitchers and keep pounding the ball."
Four Leaf Clover-24
McGonigal 3b 3232, Myers lf 2121, T. Morgan 1b-cf-2b 4325, Bender rf-1b 3422, Heichel 2b-p-ss 3322, Thompson p-1b 4336, Pilosky lf-cf 4120, Z. Morgan c 4111, Confer ss-p 3431, Dixson cf-p 2100, Emigh rf 1100. Totals: 33-24-20-20.
Moore cf 1000, Terry c-ss 3000, Timko p-1b 2010, McClure ss-p-3b 2020, Francisco 3b-p 1000, Passarelli 2b 1000, Von Gunden 2b 1000, Carter lf 1010, Winebold lf 1000, Warrick 1b-c 2000, Holt rf 1000, Irwin rf 0000. Totals: 16-0-4-0.
Score by Innings
Four Leaf Clover 85(10) 0-24 20 0
Curwensville 00 0 0-0 4 5
Errors-Carter, Moore 3, Holt. LOB-Four Leaf Clover 3, Curwensville 8. 2B-McGonigal 2, T. Morgan, Bender, Pilosky 2; Timko. 3B-Heichel. HR-McGonigal (1 on, 1st inning), T. Morgan (1 on, 1st), Bender (1 on, 3rd), Thompson (2 on, 3rd), Z. Morgan (solo, 2nd), Confer (solo, 2nd).
Four Leaf Clover: Thompson-1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO; Dixson-1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO; Heichel-1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO; Confer-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO.
Curwensville: Timko-1 1/3 IP, 9 H, 13 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO; McClure-1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO; Francisco-1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.