New Era Correspondent
This time Mount Joy Blue coach Scott Everhart didn’t have to struggle with a scoring decision, one that would decide whether or not his star pitcher, Chris Heisey, would finish with a no-hitter.
That’s because Mount Joy’s infield barely had to move during Heisey’s five-inning display of guile at Kunkle Field Monday night, when he held the Ephrata Lions hitless while striking out 10 and allowing just three walks.
Heisey twirled a one-hitter just two weeks ago in Mount Joy’s 1-0 Susquehanna League playoff victory over Rheems, when Everhart made what he himself called a “questionable scoring decision” on an infield grounder early in the game.
Monday night the seventh-grader from Donegal Middle School also rapped three hits and drove in four runs against Ephrata on Monday, including a pair of run-scoring doubles, in Mount Joy’s 12-0 win over the Lions that was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule in the quarterfinal round of Midget-Midget Division play in the New Era Tournament .
The win means Mount Joy will earn a rematch against the rival Safe Harbor Cubs, dramatic 7-6 winners over Hempfield Black in the; winners will meet Monday first game of Monday’s doubleheader at Kunkle Field. They will square off in a semifinal game at Mount Joy next Monday.
Safe Harbor beat Mount Joy, 4-3, on a suicide squeeze-bunt with one out in the last inning of the Mount Joy Midget-Midget Tournament a month ago.
Heisey kept Ephrata, the Elanco National champ at 18-4, off-balance with an occasional curveball to offset his deadly accurate fastball.
“He very rarely has a bad outing and it’s because he throws strikes. Chris has excellent control,” said Everhart. “He’s a competitor.
“We don’t call a lot of curveballs. It’s more or less his changeup. He throws a hard curveball, but we’re trying to back him off and get him to throw it a little slower.”
Justin Kaley also smacked two doubles, scored two runs and drove in two more to propel the offense for Mount Joy, Susquehanna North champ with a 19-8 record.
Daniel Royer pounded a run-scoring triple in Mount Joy’s four-run second inning. Royer’s replacement, Kevin Daub ripped a run-scoring double in the fourth.
In the first game, Josh Smith walloped the fifth-inning fastball deep over the fence in straightaway center field, his three-run homer forging a 6-5 lead for the Cubs, Penn Manor White Section 1 champs who improved to 32-5.
The shock of Smith’s homer had barely faded when Andrew Johnson led off the sixth inning with a triple that wrapped around the third base bag.
Jarred Texter’s bloop single dropped into short right field and Johnson coasted in with what would turn out to be the winning run.
When Texter took the mound for Safe Harbor in the second inning with one out and a runner on third, Hempfield had already built a 5-2 lead. But Texter proceeded over the next 4 2/3 innings to strike out nine and give up just three hits and one run.
Hempfield, Susquehanna South champ at 28-7, did make it interesting with a two-out rally in its last trip to the plate.
Jason Enoch drew a walk before Michael Baker lined a single into right to move Enoch to third, where he later scored on a wild pitch. Texter then walked Brian Biggs before finally striking out Justin Simmons with a high fastball to end the game.
Smith also drove in a run with a double in the first inning, when Safe Harbor took a 2-0 lead. He finished with four RBIs.
Any thoughts of an easy win were quickly dashed, though, when Hempfield scratched out three runs in its half of the first.
Corey Schwerin led with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Baker drew a one-out walk and stole second before Biggs slapped a double into left field to score both runners. Biggs, a seventh grader at Landisville Middle School, then scored when Simmons cue-balled a grounder past the first baseman.
Baker finished with three hits, an RBI and four stolen bases. Biggs was 2-for-3 at the plate with two stolen bases.
Hempfield expanded it’s lead to 5-2 in the second, but Brandon Reitzel’s RBI single for Safe Harbor in the fourth scored Matt Weidman from second to make the score 5-3 before Smith’s smash in the fifth.