Brandon Orsich, Potter Baseball tourney play two in Clearfield|
Friday, July 06, 2012
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
Potter Tour founder Jeff Potter quipped that his Pirates team has yet to win a game while speaking on the microphone before their third-annual trip to Clearfield got underway on Thursday morning.
In the grand scheme of things, the Potter Tour is about more than wins and losses.
Potter's group of 13 players from Pennsylvania and Maryland - including Clearfield's own Brandon Orsich - have traveled the past couple of weeks from cities to suburbs to little towns alike, taking on any and all comers.
It's what the unit does off the field, however, that long-time Clearfield baseball coach Sid Lansberry likes the most about Potter's mission - the community service.
"What I like about it is they use baseball as a motivator to do good," said Lansberry. "Jeff is more excited about (today's) community service project than he is about the game.
"The kids want to go on the tour to play baseball, but half the time they spend on doing charity stuff. It makes it a lot different than being on a travel team. This isn't your normal traveling team."
Potter says that despite the relatively low numbers for two separate tours this summer, he's seen an increase in the event's popularity and is looking to run four tours next summer.
"It's been a great experience just going around and playing baseball," Potter said. "We're really excited about doing some community service for four hours and that's a big thrill.
"We see a lot of different places on the tour ... and Clearfield reminds me a lot of the town I grew up in. It reminds me a lot of the pick-up games we used to play as kids. I just really like Clearfield a lot."
Of course, there was baseball played, too, and the hosts weren't very accommodating to their guests.
The 13- and 14-year-old Jim's Sports Center team played the Pirates to a tie, while Lansberry's 15- and 16-year-old Wise Eyes group bested Orsich and Co., 7-0.
Orsich took the loss on the mound in the second contest, despite a solid outing.
The Clearfield 13-year-old held Wise Eyes to just four hits and three runs in his first five innings, but fatigue set in and an a Jonathan Janocko RBI double with one out in the fifth chased him from the mound.
"He had a great day," Potter said of Orsich, "and he pitched really well, considering he's a younger kid. He threw the ball really well and made a couple mistakes, but that's what happens when you get the ball up. He just needs to learn to pitch.
"He's not moving up against the older kids, but he's been pretty dominant against kids his own age. I think playing against the older kids is a great experience for him."
Orsich finished the game by scattering six hits in 5 1/3 innings to go along with one walk and one strikeout.
Offensively, Orsich had the Pirates' lone RBI on the day, which came on an RBI double in his first at bat against Zach Krise in the top of the first inning of the day.
Orsich had a pair of hits in five at bats for Potter, which had just five hits in 13 innings of play as a whole.
"I thought he did exceptionally well," said Lansberry of Orsich. "He had a couple of nice hits, and I thought he pitched against a pretty good lineup and held us down until he got a little tired. I was proud of him.
"We were way out in front of his pitches because he was mixing his curveball up pretty good. He's a 13-year-old and could have played with our 13-year-old all-stars last weekend (in the Babe Ruth tournament). I thought he did real well."
Cole Kephart was the only player to have Orsich's number in the second contest, as he was 2-for-2 against his schoolmate with a double and a triple.
The two-out double in the first led to Wise Eyes' first run, and that was all starting pitcher Thomas Summers and reliever Wyatt Westen needed.
Summers allowed two hits in four innings of work, while Westen followed with four strikeouts in his two innings on the mound to sew up the win for Wise Eyes.
On the day, Clearfield pitchers - Orsich not included - struck out 24 hitters.
"We've been improving all around," Lansberry said.
Jim's Sports Center had every opportunity to put some distance and then some between themselves and the Pirates, but was unable to come up with a clutch hit in any inning.
Potter pitching wiggled out of jam after jam, as they saw Jim's strand 15 runners on base. Jim's was only retired in order once and grounded into two double plays.
Tommy Hazel led Jim's with two hits.
"We just didn't come up with any clutch hits," said Lansberry, "and we grounded into a couple double plays, which you have to give them credit for executing real well. It ended up in a tie, but we didn't play as well as I hoped we would. It was a good ballgame."
Kephart was the lone Wise Eyes player with two hits. Sawyer Rowles also had a double in the win.
While the day ended with the home teams getting the best of the guests, the grand scheme of Potter's mission wasn't lost on Lansberry, who has had a representative on each of the three Pirate teams to visit the Lawrence Township Recreation Park.
"This isn't your normal traveling team," said Lansberry, who opposes traveling teams. "So many dads waste so much money on traveling teams. This is a different type of thing. I think it's a good deal for any kid.
"They're not all-stars. They're pretty average kids and Brandon was one of their better players. Any kid that wants to go, I'm not going to hold them back. If they want to go, I recommend they go."
Jim's Sports Center-3
Krise p-rf-cf 3011, Puit ss-c 4010, Trimpey cf-ss 3110, Lykens c-p-1b 3010, D. Collins 3b-c-p 2100, Myers 1b-rf 2000, Brown 2b 1111, Wagner 2b 1000, Hazel eh 2021, M. Collins eh 1000, Fedder lf-3b 2000, Luzier 3b 2000, Maines rf 2000, Starr lf 0000. Totals: 28-3-7-3.
Ponder ss-eh-ss 3100, Abbott eh 2000, Orsich 3b 3111, Hawkins 1b-eh 2000, Perrera 2b-ss-2b 2110, Brown p-c 1000, Mitchell eh-1b 1000, Hussie lf 2000, Antonuccio eh-2b 1000, Penase rf-1b-p 2000, Martin c-eh-rf 2000, Cowman cf 1000, Carter eh-rf-eh 2000. Totals: 24-3-2-1.
Score by Innings
Jim's Sports Center 012 000 0-3 7 2
Potter Pirates 200 010 0-3 2 3
Errors-Krise, Brown; Ponder, Perrera, Orsich. LOB-Jim's Sports Center 15, Potter Pirates 4. DP-Potter Pirates 2. 2B-Orsich. SAC-Brown. SB-Trimpey 2, Lykens; Ponder, Mitchell.
Jim's Sports Center: Krise-3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO; Lykens-2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO; D. Collins-2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO.
Potter Pirates: Brown-3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 4 SO; Penase-4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO.
Rowles cf 3110, C. Collins lf 2210, Kephart ss 3122, Janocko 1b-eh 3111, Kennedy 3b 3111, Westen eh-p 3110, Summers p 2000, Taylor 1b 0000, Herrington 2b 2001, Timchak rf 3001, Sorbera c 2010, Kochan c 1000. Totals: 27-7-8-6.
Ponder ss-eh-p 2010, Abbott 2b 1000, Orsich p-eh 2010, Hawkins 1b 2000, Perrera cf-eh-3b 1000, Brown c 2000, Mitchell 3b-eh-1b-ss 2000, Hussie eh-lf02b 2000, Antonuccio eh-3b-lf 1000, Penase lf0eh 2000, Martin eh-rf 1000, Cowman eh-cf 1010, Carter rf-eh-rf 1000. Totals: 20-0-3-0.
Score by Innings
Wise Eyes 102 004-7 8 1
Potter Pirates 000 000-0 3 1
Errors-Kochan; Mitchell. 2B-Kephart, Rowles, Janocko. 3B-Kephart. SB-Timchak; Ponder. CS-Cowman (by Sorbera).
Wise Eyes: Summers-4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO; Westen-2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO.
Potter Pirates: Orsich-5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Ponder-2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.