Manheim Township defeats Warwick for LNP Midget-Midget title

BY DIANA PUGLIESE
Sports Writer

When Warwick broke out to an early lead and Manheim Township struggled just to get on the bases, things looked dire for the Streaks.

Manheim Township’s Collin Arms is greeted by teammates after his home run. (Brian Leid photo)

But for a team that combined to score 23 runs in the first two games of the LNP Tournament, it just took a little time for the bats to warm up.

Manheim Township came back to top the Warwick Phillies 7-4 Friday night at Kunkle Field to win the LNP Tournament Midget-Midget Championship.

“We’ve always said that if we can stay close early on in the game we can power through the end, that we’re stronger and deeper than most of the teams that we’re going to play and we should be able to be on top when the game’s over,” said Streaks coach Jeff Kurtz.

“These kids gave a tremendous effort. They just forget about what happens in the first inning, the second inning, the third inning. All they worry about is what’s happening right now and that’s really big for 11- and 12-year-old kids to be able to do that.’’

Collin Arms cut the Phillies lead to two with a leadoff home run to center field before Colin Fitzgerald walked and Kyle Donton singled up the middle in the bottom of the fourth. The Streaks then scored four runs with two outs on a grounder from Drew Sassaman and a two-run single off the bat of Nick Kurtz, who then stole second before advancing on a passed ball and scoring on a wild pitch.

“I struck out twice before that and I thought just put it in play so I don’t strike out again,’’ Kurtz said of his big hit. “He (Seibert) gave me a fastball up in the zone and I stroked it into left field.’’

The big inning gave Manheim Township its first lead of the game, which it never relinquished en route to its first tournament title since 2001.

After falling to the Streaks 12-2 on Tuesday, Warwick put three runs on the board in the second inning and looked to be in control from there.

Colin Brubaker smashed a double to deep center field that plated Brody Price before Zach Shertzer followed with an RBI double of his own. Manheim Township answered back with an RBI off the bat of Kyle Donton before the Phillies tacked on a run on a sac fly from Ethan Minnich in the top of the fourth.

The Streaks big bats took over from there while the Phillies could not take advantage of some key hits, stranding nine men on base.

“Anytime you leave baserunners on base it makes it difficult on the team and then the defense obviously behind it,” Warwick coach Todd Shertzer said. “We tried to break it open a little bit but just couldn’t get that big key hit to get the flood gates rolling. The kids did a nice job, they battled. Got a lot of nice hits to get things rolling, just couldn’t get them across the plate.”

Nick Kurtz hits a 2-run single for Manheim Township. (Brian Leid photo)

Colin Fitzgerald pitches for Manheim Township. (Brian Leid photo)

LNP Midget-Midget Champions Manheim Township Streaks. (Brian Leid photo)

LNP Midget-Midget runners-up Warwick Phillies. (Brian Leid photo)