Four Leaf Clover downs Tri-County in 11 and 12s elimination game|
Saturday, June 30, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
FRENCHVILLE - Sometimes when a no-hitter is thrown, the pitcher mows through the opposing lineup and piles up the strikeouts.
Other times, the defense has to make some stellar plays behind their hurler to keep the no-no intact.
The Four Leaf Clover 11- and 12-year-old all-star team got a little bit of both in keeping Tri-County without a single in Friday's contest in the District 5 Northern Tier loser's bracket.
Four Leaf starter Jesse Thompson piled up six more strikeouts in the tournament before giving way to Thayne Morgan, who completed the no-no with two-thirds of an inning on the mound.
Morgan, who made a diving stab of his own on a pop-up right around the plate, enforced the 10-run rule in the bottom of the frame with a sharp single to left to avenge last season's loss to Tri-County, 10-0.
"Jesse went four (and a third) and Thayne went (the rest)," said Four Leaf Clover manager Tim Morgan, "and we played good defense. These guys made a lot of plays behind them to preserve that no-hitter.
"I think this is the best game we've played. We played a quality team in Tri-County, which beat us last year. Everybody contributed in this game by either hitting, playing good defense or making tough outs."
Thompson was once again stellar on the mound for Four Leaf, which got home runs from Jimmy Pilosky and Ty Bender to move its total to 13 in the four games it's played.
After blanking Milesburg for five innings in a contest Pilosky and Bender also homered in, Thompson pitched a scoreless inning against Curwensville before mowing down Tri-County for 4 1/3.
Thompson issued one walk and had another runner reach on an error, but was unhittable outside of the small hiccups.
Aside from the first-inning walk of Jordan Jones, who was nearly caught looking at strike-3, Thompson only went to a 3-ball count on one other occasion.
Thayne Morgan walked the first batter he faced, but bounced back with a strikeout of his own and the diving stab off the bat of Tri-County's Cory Lehman.
In the tournament, Thompson has pitched 10 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Thompson has allowed only two hits and issued just one walk, while striking out 14.
"He's keeping it around the plate and he's a good, little athlete," coach Morgan said of Thompson. "He throws the ball hard. If we're going to make any noise in this thing, we're going to have to have him and Thayne and our other pitchers to keep it up."
While Thayne Morgan and Thompson silenced the Tri-County offense, Four Leaf's kept smacking the ball all over the field for the fourth time in as many games.
Four Leaf, which has outscored its two loser's bracket's opponents 34-0, ended the contest with 15 hits against a pair of Tri-County pitchers.
Bender and Dylan Confer, who doubled twice, each had three hits to their credit, while Luke McGonigal, Morgan and Thompson each had two.
Micah Heichel and Thompson also doubled for Four Leaf.
"We had a couple of big home runs tonight and they just keep hitting the ball hard," said coach Morgan. "I'm just thankful that our pitching, our hitting and our defense have been holding up. We're playing pretty well in all three facets of the game."
The win was especially sweet for Morgan and his kids, as Tri-County ended Four Leaf's District 5 tournament a year ago in Stormstown.
"We talked a lot about it," said Morgan, whose team travels to face the Clearfield/Philipsburg-Osceola loser on Sunday. "I said, ‘we're not going there again, guys.' From the first inning on, the kids played really hard.
"We talked about winning three more games to make it to the district finals ... that's our goal. We'll re-adjust after we get there and say, ‘four or five in a row,' because they're all good teams."
Simpson cf 2000, King 2b-ss 2000, Jones 1b-lf 1000, Meredith ss-p 2000, Moore p 1000, Wenner ph-2b 1000, Bucha 3b 2000, Mitchell rf 1000, Brown rf 0000, Roberts lf 1000, Mortimer 1b 1000, Lehman c 2000. Totals: 16-0-0-0.
Four Leaf Clover-10
McGonigal 3b 2121, T. Morgan 1b-p 4221, Bender rf-c 3232, Heichel 2b 3111, Thompson p-1b 3120, Pilosky lf 2112, Myers rf 1000, Z. Morgan c-cf 3110, Confer ss 3130, Dixson cf 2000, Emigh lf 1000. Totals: 27-10-15-7.
Score by Innings
Tri-County 000 00-0 0 2
Four Leaf Clover 204 22-10 15 1
One out when 10th run scored.
Errors-Simpson, Roberts; Dixson. LOB-Tri-County 3, Four Leaf Clover 6. 2B-Confer 2, Heichel, Thompson. HR-Pilosky (1 on, 3rd inning), Bender (1 on, 4th inning). SB-Confer. CS-Confer (by Lehman). HBP-McGonigal (by Moore). WP-Moore 1.
Tri-County: Moore-3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Meredith-1 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Four Leaf Clover: Thompson-4 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO; T. Morgan-2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.