Philipsburg-Osceola teeners rally to down Huntingdon, 7-5|
Monday, July 30, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
PHILIPSBURG - A close game can indicate the amount of character a baseball team has. The Philipsburg-Osceola 13- and 14-year-old teener league team showed it has plenty of it on Saturday at the Don Womer Baseball Complex.
After falling behind 5-3 after three innings, P-O clawed its way to the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth and held off a ferocious Huntingdon rally to win, 7-5 in the State VFW Teener League tournament.
Eric Sherkel walked in the top of the fifth inning with two outs and his team down two runs. Derek Shaw then hit a ground ball to the shortstop that looked to be a routine play. Sherkel outran the second baseman to the bag to extend the inning, which proved to be a huge turning point for the P-O teeners.
"His speed is just unbelievable for the age that we're playing in here," said P-O manager Nick Croyle of Sherkel. "That helps when you're the leadoff guy. With the mass confusion, it throws the pitcher off and it plays the head games with them."
Kody Trude walked to load the bases for cleanup hitter Brandon Zwick. Zwick delivered a big two-out single to left field that scored Sherkel and Shaw to tie game at 5.
After a scoreless half-inning for Huntingdon, Philipsburg-Osceola picked up from where it left off in the sixth inning.
Isaac Knepp and Dakota Weitoish hit back-to-back singles to lead off the frame. After both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Huntingdon starting pitcher Kody Heaton uncorked another wild pitch that Knepp scored on when the Huntingdon catcher overthrew the pitcher covering the plate.
The throwing error allowed Weitoish to scamper home to put P-O up 7-5.
Zwick, the P-O relief pitcher, took over from there and stranded a pair of Huntingdon baserunners in each the sixth and seventh innings.
In the bottom of the seventh with one out and runners at first and second, Zwick forced a flyout and struck out the last batter. The strikeout was the only punchout recorded by P-O pitchers on the day.
"I was going to switch and go to somebody else," said Croyle. "A couple of the guys said they'd rather wait till tomorrow. I told Brandon, ‘Hey, you got three more outs in you. If you say you want the ball, it's yours.' And he had it."
Sherkel, the P-O leadoff batter, opened the game reaching on an error and advanced to second when Shaw was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch before Trude laced a single to score Sherkel.
When Trude stole second base, an errant throw on the Huntingdon catcher went to the outfield which allowed Shaw to score and Trude advanced to third base. He came home on a Zwick sacrifice fly to give P-O a 3-0 lead out of the gate.
"Kody is a good hitter, and that's why he's hitting in the 3-hole," said Croyle. "He puts the ball in play and he's good around the plate."
Knepp, the P-O starting pitcher, had no trouble in his opening frame and got out on a 1-2-3 inning. However in the second inning, a pair of singles from Heaton and Logan Fisher and a walk to Hudson Speck loaded the bases with no outs.
Nate Stratton hit a sacrifice fly to score Heaton and moved Fisher to third base. Fisher came home on a Leif Brown fielder's choice.
Huntingdon began another rally and took the lead in the third inning.
Jon Wagner started it off with a double in the right-center field gap.
Chris Alleman drove home Wagner on a single to tie the game at 3.
After Knepp hit Heaton and walked Fisher to lead the bases, Croyle elected to bring in Zwick for relief work. But, Zwick was greeted on a brilliant piece of hitting from Speck that scored Alleman and Heaton to give Huntingdon the lead, 5-3.
Zwick settled down and got a groundout and a flyout to avoid further damage.
"They played a good game," said Croyle of the Huntingdon teeners, who were the Area 5 champions. "I think both teams were pretty good. They have some good hitters. I watched them hit yesterday and they hit the ball all over the field."
"I'm just glad to win. I'm glad to see we pulled together as a team and got it done."
Sherkel 2b 3210, De. Shaw c 3200, Trude ss 3121, Zwick 3b-p 2013, Winters 1b-3b 3000, Kerlin cf 4000, Knepp p-1b 2120, Weitoish lf 3110, Domblisky rf 3000, Sinclair eh 1000, N. Conklin ph 1000, Maines ph 1000. Totals: 29-7-7-4.
Wagner lf 4120, Alleman c 4111, D. Kyper eh 2000, Fowler eh 0000, Heaton p-rf 3210, Fisher 2b-p 3130, Speck cf 3022, Stratton ss 3001, Brown 3b 3001, Price rf 2010, McLaughlin 2b 1000, A. Kyper 1b 2010. Totals: 30-5-11-5.
Score by Innings
P-O 300 022 0-7 7 0
Huntingdon 023 000 0-5 11 4
Errors-Stratton, Alleman 3. LOB-Philipsburg-Osceola 8, Huntingdon 11. 2B-Wagner 2, Speck. SF-Zwick; Stratton. SB-Sherkel 2, De. Shaw, Trude 2, Zwick; Wagner, Alleman. CS-Heaton (by De. Shaw). HBP-De. Shaw (by Heaton), Heaton (by Knepp).
Philipsburg-Osceola: Knepp-2 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO; Zwick-4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO.
Huntingdon: Heaton-5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO; Fisher-1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.