P-O teeners open VFW state tournament with, 7-1, win|
Saturday, July 28, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
PHILIPSBURG - Host team Philipsburg-Osceola started what it hopes is a long run through the State VFW Teener League 13-14 Tournament with a convincing 7-1 win over East Shore Albright Friday evening at Powerhouse Field.
The win moves P-O into today's winner's bracket semifinal at 3 p.m. against Huntingdon, which was a 15-1 winner over Punxsutawney.
"We played good fundamental baseball," P-O head coach Nick Croyle said. "We didn't have many hiccups in the field, and we're an aggressive team that isn't afraid to steal bags or hit the ball."
A trio of P-O pitchers held the Area 3 champion to just one hit, while enjoying 1-2-3 innings in the first, third, fifth and sixth frames.
Eric Sherkel pitched the first four innings and did not allow a hit. He did run into some control problems in the bottom of the third, hitting Brendon Diemidio with a 1-1 pitch with two outs before walking the next three batters he faced to force in a run.
But Sherkel righted the ship, getting out of the inning with a fielder's choice and pitching a perfect fourth before being replaced on the mound by Kody Trude.
"Eric threw well," Croyle said. "Sometimes he just needs to slow himself down. He just gets a little too excited."
Trude pitched two innings, allowing just a single to Ryan LaCoe, and Brandon Zwick finished off the game with a perfect seventh.
"Kody throws a wide variety of pitches, and I think after you start someone like Eric, who has a dominant fastball, it throws the batters off when you come with someone else who mixes it up," said Croyle. "And Brandon is somewhere in between. He throws a nice fastball and he has a little bit of junk."
On offense, Philipsburg-Osceola had hits from seven different starters as the entire lineup contributed in one way or another.
"Every kid on the team is pretty versed at hitting, and they all understand the situation," Croyle said. "We went over that a lot. We want them to put the ball in play and see what happens."
Derek Shaw was 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the total team effort, while Sherkel, Mitch Winters, Zwick and Josh Kerlin each doubled.
Sherkel gave P-O a lift in both the top and bottom of the first frame, retiring all three batters he faced before lacing a double to the gap to ignite a two-run first.
Sherkel scored on Shaw's opposite field single and, later in the inning, Winters clubbed a double to right-center field to chase home Trude, who had reached on a single.
"That was a big key," Croyle said. "The name of our game is to get ahead."
P-O added to its lead in the top of the second as the first three batters reached base and scored off East Shore Albright starter Dave Lippe.
Isaac Knepp drew a four-pitch walk to lead off and was followed by Dakota Weitoish, who also walked. Cam Domblisky bunted the runners over and reached base himself when no one covered first base.
Jacob Maines lifted a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to score Knepp on a sac fly to make the score. 3-0.
Weitoish also tagged on the play and advanced to third.
During Sherkel's at-bat, Domblisky got caught in a rundown between first and second when Lippe spotted him leaning too far off the bag. But Domblisky was able to avoid the tag during the rundown and Weitoish raced home during the play, scoring P-O's fourth run of the contest.
Sherkel reached base on an infield error and both he and Domblisky attempted to advance a base when the East Shore Albright center fielder mishandled the ball. Domblisky made it to third, but Sherkel was gunned down at second for the second out of the inning.
Shaw knocked in Domblisky with another opposite-field base hit to give P-O a 5-0 lead.
East Shore scored its run in the bottom of the third when Sherkel issued a bases-loaded walk to Nate Horst.
After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Philipsburg-Osceola gave itself a little cushion with two runs in the top of the sixth.
Zwick led off with a double down the left field line and scored on Kerlin's ground rule double. Kerlin moved to third when Lippe's attempted pickoff throw was errant and later scored on a Weitoish sacrifice fly.
P-O pitching did the rest as 10 of the final 11 East Shore batters were retired, including the final eight in a row.
East Shore Albright tangled with Punxsutawney this morning at 10 in an elimination game.
Sherkel p-ss-2b 3110, De. Shaw c 4022, Trude ss-p-ss 4110, Zwick 2b-p 3110, Winters 3b 2011, Kerlin cf 3111, Knepp 1b 1100, Weitoish lf 1101, Domblisky rf 2110, Conklin rf 1000, Maines eh 1001, Da. Shaw eh 1000. Totals: 26-7-8-6.
East Shore Albright-1
Albright 1b 2000, Sullivan ss 2000, Horst lf 2001, Kretz 3b 2000, Gerula c 3000, Dav. Lippe p 2000, Murray p 1000, Nice rf 3000, Porter eh 2000, Dan Lippe 2b 0000, LaCoe 2b 2010, Myers cf 0000, Diemidio cf 1100. Totals: 22-1-1-1.
Score by Innings
Philipsburg-Osceola 230 002 0-7 8 1
East Shore Albright 001 000 0-1 1 4
Errors-Winters; Myers, Sullivan, Dav. Lippe 2. LOB-Philipsburg-Osceola 5, East Shore Albright 5. DP-East Shore Albright. 2B-Sherkel, Winters, Zwick, Kerlin. SF-Maines, Weitoish. SB-Domblisky, Weitosh, Sherkel; Diemidio. HBP-Diemidio (by Sherkel). CS-Gerula (by De. Shaw).
Philipsburg-Osceola: Sherkel-4 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO; Trude-2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO; Zwick-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
East Shore Albright: Dav. Lippe-5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO; Murray-1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.
WP-Sherkel. LP-Dav. Lippe.