8-time champ Mountville will face nemesis in M-M final

Mountville coach Bob Sauders congratulates his pitcher, Zac Burke.

By Dave Byrne
New Era Correspondent

After an absence of one year, Mountville has returned to a familiar setting – the New Era Tournament’s Midget-Midget championship game.

The Indians (40-13) unseated defending champ Mt. Joy Blue 4-1 in the second game of a semifinal doubleheader Monday night at Kunkle Field.

Standing in the way of Mountville’s eighth New Era M-M title is its Penn Manor League nemesis, the Norlanco Redbirds.

Norlanco, the two-time PM League champions – both at the expense of the Indians – defeated Manheim VFW Maroon 10-3 in Monday’s first game.

The two teams square off for the title tonight at 7 at Kunkle Field.

Colton King ruled the field for Mountville Monday night, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored at the plate and picking up the win on the mound with 2 1-einnings of sparkling relief for starter Zac Burke.

King, one of two returning 12-year-olds on Mountville’s roster, allowed one hit and no runs, striking out four.

“Colton did a real nice job of coming in and shutting the door,” said Mountville coach Bob Sauders.

Showing an uncanny ability to hit the ball where it was pitched, King, a lefthand hitter, doubled down the third base line in the first inning, doubled over shortstop in the third and singled up the middle in the fifth.

“I’ve just started to hit more to left field,” said King.

King was knocked in twice by Willie Welsh (2-for-3), who singled in the first inning and doubled in the third. Joe Yourgal delivered King in the fifth on a sacrifice squeeze bunt.

Burke kept Mt. Joy (29-7) off balance over 32-e innings, allowing just three hits while striking out seven.

But he was wild, walking six. Two came in the first inning after Dylan Houseal doubled and Michael Robinson singled with one out.

After Justin Prescott walked, Nick Tufarolo looked at four pitches, forcing in Houseal.

That tied the game at 1-1, but Mt. Joy could do no more damage as Michael Houseal and Jerel Sensenig struck out to end the inning.

Houseal fouled off an attempted bunt on a 0-1 count and was retired after missing a high fastball. Sensenig couldn’t catch up to an 0-2 heater, killing the potential rally.

“That’s the turning point of the game,” said Blue coach Ron Wagner. “We get that bunt down, score a couple runs, it’s a different story. If it works, I’m the greatest coach in the world. That’s the way the game goes.”

Burke allowed just two more hits but when he walked Matt Diebler in the fourth inning, after walking Sensenig, Sauders had seen enough.

“You could tell Zac was starting to tire out,” said Sauders. “There’s no way they’re going to go six innings in this kind of weather.”

Zac Burke fires for Mountville.

Mountville reliever Colton King delivers against Mount Joy Blue.

Mount Joy’s Nick Tufarolo makes the catch at first base to get retire Mountville’s John Wilt.

Mountville’s Colton King slides safely iinto home as Blue catcher Chris Robinson tries to handle the throw.