BY DAVE BYRNE
What is believed to be the longest game played in the history of the LNP —formerly New Era — Tournament’s Midget division saw top-seeded Hempfield Black survive the upset bid of SWS Blue, 4-3 in 10 innings Wednesday at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
SWS first baseman Bubba Weigel’s throw home on Tanner Seitz’s bases-loaded high chop arrived too late to force Mark Peterson at home and Black (15-1) advanced to Friday’s semifinal.
Black put two on the board in the second to take the lead, stretching it to 3-1 in the third inning on back-to-back doubles from Angel Colon and Tanner Seitz.
SWS (8-8-1), the No. 8 seed, chipped away on Danehower’s bases-loaded walk in the fifth and sent the game to extra innings when Todd Shelley doubled with two out and raced home on Cole Garver’s single to left.
Eric Sipling went the first nine innings for Black, allowing two earned runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Logan Givler picked up the win, stranding Danehower in the top of the 10th.
Kris Pirozzi, the third pitcher for Blue, took the loss, pitching five innings plus four batters. He allowed just two hits, walking two and striking out five.
Turning point: Peterson hit the first pitch of the 10th, singling to left. Nick Boulanger worked a walk and both advanced when Colon’s fly to left center clanked off John Manion’s glove.
Backs to the wall, Blue brought both the infield and outfield in. Seitz fouled off Pirozzi’s first pitch, then chopped the game-winner.
Stars of the game: Colon and Seitz, who combined for four of Black’s seven hits.
Key statistic: SWS left nine on base, including the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
COCALICO 6, BEARS BLUE 1
It’s their first appearance in the LNP Tournament Midget championships and Cocalico got off to a great start Wednesday night, ousting Bears Blue.
Shrugging off an early run for the Bears (10-6) on a wild pitch, Cocalico (11-5) scored in four of the next six innings to salt the victory away.
Brock Showalter singled in Cocalico’s first run. Drew Myers singled in a pair and Tyler Stricker plated two runs on a fifth-inning single and a seventh-inning safety squeeze bunt.
Turning point: In a 1-1 ballgame, Stricker (2 for 3) walked to lead off the Cocalico fourth. Justin Burd lived when catcher Chad Caley threw away his sacrifice bunt and both runners advanced on winning pitcher Austin Harven’s sacrifice. Myers looped a two-run single into left, eventually scoring on a wild pitch to give Cocalico a 4-1 lead. Harren took it the rest of the way.
Star of the game: Harven pitched a complete game, allowing a run on four hits. He walked two and struck out seven and was in total control, retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.