Wednesday Afternoon Scores
August 08, 2012 - Cleveland and New Brunswick continue to hit well and remain defeated; Youngstown comes from behind to eliminated Altoona; Philadelphia rolls over Zanesville; and New Orleans walks off against New York in a Lilly slugfest.
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YOUNGSTOWN ( 5 ) - ALTOONA ( 4 )
Altoona's Nittany Oil--fresh off their rout of host Johnstown the previous night--jumped out to a 3-run lead over the Ohio Glaciers at the Point Stadium. Cody Doran and Austin Mock both singled in the first and later scored on Justin Taylor's double to right-center. In the second, Braedon Pennington singled with two outs to score Von Walker from third. Altoona led off the fourth with a double from Walker, who later was thrown out at third after oversliding the bag. Altoona left 6 runners on base through the first four innings, but held a 3-0 lead through five.
Nittany Oil starter Jordan Fuller cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit. The Glaciers were held scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. Brock McGivern walked to lead off, and Gerrad Rohan reached on an error by the pitcher during a sacrifice bunt attempt. A wild pitch allowed the runners to advance, and McGivern scored on a fielder's choice. With a man at second, Joshua Shorts singled to put runners at the corners. Altoona changed pitchers to Mark Curtis, but the first batter he faced--John Beatty--doubled to center field to tie the game. Joe Markovitch then singled and Brent Messett sacrificed to center field to put the Glaciers on top, 4-3
Altoona tied the game at four, but the Glaciers added an inside-the-park home run in the 8th inning to retake the lead a final time. With the win, Youngstown advanced to play New Orleans, while Altoona is eliminated.
CLEVELAND ( 12 ) - LIVONIA ( 1 )
The Chardon Blizzards from Cleveland continued their run-scoring record-pace by mercy-ruling a strong Livonia club 12-1 in 7 innings at Fichtner Field. The Blizzard opened with 6 runs in the first innings, including their 4th grand slam of the tournament, this one by Kevin Bernay.
"When you get up on teams, it puts pressure on them right away," said Cleveland manager Don Navatsyk. "Their pitcher didn't have his good stuff. I thought he competed really hard, but he was struggling without his best stuff."
"Our first pitcher just didn't have it today and they had some key hits," said Livonia manager Rick Berryman. "I've still got fresh pitching, so hopefully tomorrow we pitch a little bit better than we pitched today." The Blizzard scored 6 in the first and 2 in the second, then added on single runs in the 4th through 7th innings.
Overall, this year's tournament has been the most offensive-productive since 1999. The Blizzard averaging 16 runs per game, which puts them on par with the 1990 Baltimore squad who scored 96 runs in 6 games.
The game's fun when you hit the baseball," said Navatsyk. "When you've got a guy like [Kevin Bernay] hitting in your eight hole, it's a lot of fun." Bernay had the grand slam in this game and two home runs in the first game in Portage. Navatsyk will start right-hander Matt Palko tomorrow against New Brunswick. Palko won last year's nightcap contest against Johnstown's Martella's Pharmacy.
Cleveland's franchise currently has 19 wins. Livonia's franchise currently has 48 wins.
NEW BRUNSWICK ( 15 ) - COLUMBUS ( 3 )
The other hitting powerhouse this year has been New Brunswick. The short-benched Columbus Hawks kept the Matrix scoreless in the first inning, but New Brunswick built a 7-run lead over the next 3 innings. The Hawks battled back to 7-3 after six innings, but the Matrix bats returned in the final third of the game, as they set the final at 15-3. New Brunswick advances to play Cleveland in the final game of unbeaten teams. Columbus will play Livonia.
"We're a contagious hitting team," said New Brunswick manager Glenn Fredericks. "They almost challenge each other, 'I got a base hit, you better get a base hit,' and they feed off of one another." His team's cohesion seems to be a major contributor to their success in this year's tournament.
"The chemistry is top-notch with these kids," said Fredericks of his team. "Everybody roots for one another, they're incredible teammates to one another. If there's one or two guys in the line-up not having a good time, everybody picks each other up."
From his perspective in the opposing dugout, Columbus manager Tony Perz agreed: "When you watch them play, just the way they go about conducting their business on the field, they are the best team we've seen, and I want to emphasize: they play as a team."
Columbus will start Ben Williams tomorrow against Livonia.
PHILADELPHIA ( 12 ) - ZANESVILLE ( 2 )
The Philly Bandits strike for 12 runs against Zanesville to eliminate the Junior Pioneers in 7 innings. The Ohioans' 1-run second inning lead was short lived as the Pennsylvanians scored twice in the bottom of the inning. James Bunn hit two solo home runs, including one during a 6-run 6th inning for the Bandits as they led 9-2. The Bandits added 3 in the 7th to end the game with a mercy rule.
Philadelphia collected 10 hits with 4 Zanesville errors. The Pioneers had 8 hits with 2 Philly errors.
NEW ORLEANS ( 12 ) - NEW YORK CITY ( 11 )
It was a wild, back-and-forth affair in Lilly between New York and New Orleans in an elimination game. Veteran Sean McMullen hit an inside-the-park grand-slam at the spacious War Memorial Field to put NORD up 7-2. But the Lions scored 5 times in the 5th to tie the game, before New Orleans regained a 1-run lead in the bottom of the inning. In the sixth, New York leap-frogged ahead 11-8. The Boosters tied the game at 11 in the 8th and scored the winner run courtesy a Marc Picciola walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th.