Five teams win openers in LNP Tournament

Gabe Abreu mows down East Petersburg.

By Dave Byrne
LNP Correspondent

The 52nd annual LNP Midget Baseball Tournament of Champions opened on Saturday with five teams advancing in the Junior-Midget Division.

The winners were the Willow Street Yankees, the Gap Indians of Salisbury Township, Mount Joy Blue, the Akron A’s, and the Lancaster Township White Sox.

The Willow Street Yankees defeated Lititz VFW, 8-7, in one of three games at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field.

Salisbury defeated East Petersburg 7-0 and Mount Joy beat Mountville 9-3 in the other games at Kunkle Field.

The Akron A’s blanked the Warwick White Sox 11-0 and the Lancaster Township White Sox edged the Willow Street Tigers 7-5 in a doubleheader at Lampeter’s Herr Field.

The winners advance to the Junior-Midget quarterfinals later this week.

The Gap Indians will take on the Willow Street White Sox on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field. The Willow Street White Sox won the Southern Division of the Red Rose League.

Mount Joy Blue will take on the Lancaster Township Royals on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field.

The Willow Street Yankees will battle the Akron A’s on Friday at 6:15 p.m. at Kunkle Field.

And the Lancaster Township White Sox will take on Adamstown on Friday at 8 p.m. at Kunkle Field.

The Midget-Midget Division of the LNP Tournament gets underway tonight with a pair of games at Kunkle Field and one at Lampeter’s Herr Field.

Hempfield Black takes on Safe Harbor in the opener at 6:15 p.m., while Mount Joy Blue battles the Ephrata Lions at 8 p.m.

At Lampeter tonight, the Baron Stiegel Lions will play Rheems Gray at 6.

The following is a summary of Saturday’s games:

Akron 11, Warwick 0

Led by pitcher Rodney Hawk, who threw five innings of no-hit baseball and added a solo home run, the Akron A’s blasted the Warwick White Sox, 11-0.

Hawk allowed issued just four walks in the complete game no-hitter as the game was called by the 10-run rule in the fifth. Of the 15 outs Hawk recorded, 12 were by strikeout.

“I was just out there trying to throw strikes,” said Hawk, who also recorded a no-hitter earlier this season. “I was thinking about throwing one, and I was hoping that my defense could help me out.”

He didn’t need much help from his defense, as only two Warwick batters managed to put balls in play. Jesse Hoover grounded out to second in the first inning, and Steve Beard flew out to left in the third.

Other than that, it was all Hawk.

“He certainly was impressive,” said Akron coach Daryl Burkholder. “The main thing was for him to throw strikes. When he gets the ball in there he’s tough to hit.”

While Hawk mowed down Warwick’s batters, his teammates provided plenty of offense to back him up.

The A’s were up 2-0 heading into the third when they opened the floodgates on the White Sox with a seven-run rally that put the game away.

Justin Shenk had a two-run single and Ben Lewis added a two-run ground-rule double for Akron, while Brett Fassnacht had an RBI single and Hawk drove in a run with a groundout.

The A’s were also helped by two walks and a fielding error.

Hawk further helped his cause by leading off the fourth inning with a solo home run to center, and Akron tacked on another run on Shenk’s RBI single to right to wrap up the scoring.

Shenk finished the game with four RBIs to lead the A’s, while Lewis and Hawk added two each.

“We were just trying to put the ball in play,” said Burkholder. “The field was pretty hard, and when you get it on the ground anything can happen.”

The victory upped Akron’s overall record to 15-11. Warwick fell to 12-7 with the loss.

Lanc. Twp. 7, Willow St. 5

Jason Mongeau scattered five runs and seven hits to pick up the complete-game victory for Lancaster Township, which spotted Willow Street an early 4-2 lead before striking back.

Mongeau struck out 10 and walked three to earn the victory for the White Sox.

After spotting the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Derrick Sprout’s home run, Township took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Eric Neely led off the inning with a single, took second on a groundout, and scored on Jason Little’s RBI single to tie the score. Little later gave his team the lead when he scored on a fielding error.

The Tigers responded with three runs in the top of the third. Zachary Patterson had a two-run single to spark the rally.

But the Sox answered with four runs in their half of the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Little had the clutch hit again with a two-run single, while Neely and Charley Jones added RBIs in the inning.

Township tacked on one more run in the fourth when Ricky Riley walked to open the inning and scored on Amit Corso’s two-out single.

Mongeau then slammed the door on the Tigers by striking out four of the last six batters he faced.

Willow Street 8, Lititz VFW 7

The Willow Street Yankees, Penn Manor White Section 1 champs with a 24-7-1 record, held a 7-0 lead through four innings before Lititz exploded for seven runs to tie the game in the fifth.

Rob Duvall, an eighth grader at Martin Meylin Junior High, responded in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Dan Hanecak with the winning run. Hanecak, an eighth grader at Lancaster Country Day School, finished with three singles and an RBI.

Adam Devlin, a big, righthanded relief pitcher, preserved a dramatic victory for the Yankees and capped the game with a barehanded grab of a slow roller and throw to first for the final out.

Willie Rivera, an eighth grader from Reynolds Junior High, went 3-for-4 and pounded a two-run homer to make the score 5-0 in the third inning. Jonathan Lopez, an eighth grader at Hand Junior High, followed with a two-run double into the left-field gap.

Willow Street righthander Ryan Ewing, an eighth grader at Martin Meylin, struck out four and allowed just one hit through the first four innings, until Lititz roughed him up for five hits and seven runs in the fifth.

Mike Berkey, an eighth grader at Warwick Junior High, kept the rally moving with a two-out single up the middle to score two and make it 7-3.

Nathan Jones, also in eighth grade at Warwick Junior High, capped the inning with a three-run double to tie the game for Lititz, which won the Susquehanna Central title and finished at 20-8.

Gap 7, East Petersburg 0

Gabe Abreu, a big righthander who will be a freshman at Pequea Valley High School in the fall, was the star on the mound for the Gap Indians, a Penn Manor Blue team that was Section 1 champ with a 16-3 overall mark.

Abreu struck out 12 and gave up just two hits and two walks to shut out the East Petersburg Giants through five innings. He also pounded a homer into right field to lead off the fifth inning.

By then, Gap held a 4-0 lead, thanks to a leadoff homer from Jason Landis in the third. Landis, who will be in eighth grade at Pequea Valley Junior High, rapped three hits and scored two runs.

Michael Schwebel, a freshman at Hempfield High School, struck out 11 in seven innings for East Petersburg, Section 1 champs from Penn Manor Blue at 17-5-1. But Gap also struck for 11 hits and six earned runs.

David Brunozzi, also a freshman at Hempfield, swatted a two-out double in the first for East Pete.

Mt. Joy 9, Mountville 3

Justin Bish broke the game open in the second inning with a grand-slam shot deep into left field to make the score 6-0 for Mt. Joy, the Susquehanna Central champs with a 32-7 record. Bish, a freshman at Donegal High School, also pitched six innings, striking out eight and allowing six hits and one walk.

Jonathan Burns, also a freshman at Donegal, ripped three hits, with a double and two runs scored. Jere Hess had a run-scoring double in the second.

Mike Haubert, a sophomore at Hempfield High School, had two RBIs on a home run to left field with two outs in the first inning for Mountville, Penn Manor Gold Section 1 champs at 18-9.