Young they may be, but the 2012 Mountville Indians are also something else.
LNP Tournament Midget-Midget champions.
Proving eight first-year players need not be a barrier to success, the Indians (32-9) took the measure of the Warwick Phillies 7-3 Friday night at Mtount Joy’s Kunkle Field to repeat as NET titlists.
“I never had that many (young players). Ever,” said veteran coach Bob Sauders, who celebrated his eighth LNP title — Mountville’s ninth overall — with the obligatory Gatorade soaking.
Speaking of soaking: “They’re so young, they’re still learning and they soak it all in.”
“It’s a very, very young team,” said Logan Givler, one of Sauders’ four second-year players.
“But I thought we had the ability to win.”
Givler, who went 51-e innings to pick up the victory, also knocked in two runs — his fifth and sixth of the series — in a 3-run fifth inning that pretty much sealed the Phillies’ fate.
Second-year outfielder Nick Buchwalder (2 for 3) doubled in two runs in a 4-run fourth that broke open a tight pitching duel between Givler and Warwick’s Nate Hess.
It was Mountville’s third win of the year over the Phillies, after taking a 6-5 regular season nod and an 8-0 decision on Tuesday.
Givler got the win in that game and matched zeroes with Hess through three innings Friday, yielding Brandon Perezous’ bunt single, while Hess retired the first seven he faced before Buchwalder broke the spell.
The Indians made their breaks in the Phillies’ third as catcher C.J. Saylor’s snap throw caught Evan Clark straying off first.
After Perezous singled and stole second, second-sacker Ryan Glenn sneaked in behind Perezous and applied Givler’s pick off for the second out of the inning.
“That was big!” said Sauders. “Especially at that point of the game. Hess was throwing B-Bs at us and I thought, ‘We’re in trouble.’ ”
Soon trouble would trouble the Phils (18-16).
Ryan Moffatt drew a leadoff walk in the Indian fourth, stole second, took third on a throwing error and scored on Jeremy Brubaker’s ground out.
Despite Givler’s two-out single and Conner Waughtel’s walk, Hess could see his way out as he struck out Christian Shepperson.
But the ball ticked away from catcher Justin Minnich, whose throw to first was late and off line.
“Very uncharacteristic,” said Phillies’ coach Dana Clark. “It was a manageable inning.” Ryan Glenn, running for Givler, scored and Buchwalder doubled the advantage — and the pain — ripping a double into the left field corner.
“It was an inside, low-ish, pitch,” he related. “I just wanted to put the ball in play, put pressure on the defense.”
“Bucky was struggling there for a little bit this season,” said Sauders. “But he really turned it around.”
And turned the game around.
Warwick got two runs back in the fifth on Nick Breznak’s RBI groundout and Hess’ single.
But Mountville struck on Givler’s two-run hit and Glenn’s RBI infield single.
Making the mountain that much higher for Warwick.
The Phillies attempted to summit that mountain as Breznak’s bases-loaded single knocked in a run in the sixth.
“It got a bit tight and a little bit hairy at the end,” said Clark.
No worries. Brubaker came on in relief and struck out Perezous for the final out of the game, setting off the celebration.