BY DAVE BYRNE
As Richie Ashburn often moaned, “Oh, those bases on balls!”
Four Mountville Indian pitchers issued 11 free passes Monday evening. Not a good way to conduct business on a night in which the Manheim Township Blue Streaks banged out 16 hits.
Township, seeded fourth, was all over the No. 1-seeded Indians from the jump, scoring two in the first inning and three in the second. Posting six and nine runs in the next two innings opened the door to a 20-2 mercy rule victory in the LNP Tournament Midget-Midget game at Kunkle Field in Mount Joy.
Turning point: Winning pitcher Nick Kurtz launched a majestic two-run home run well over the batting cage in right field in the first inning and the Streaks were off and running.
Stars of the game: Evan Clark and Kyle Musser. Clark was 3-for-4 with six RBIs, on a three-run double and three-run homer. He scored twice. Musser, also 3-for-4, drove in seven runs on a three-run homer, a two-run double and a two-run single. He scored three runs.
Key statistic: The Streaks had two bat-around innings, sending 11 to the plate in a six-run third inning and 13 in their nine-run fourth.
Up next: The Streaks take Solanco White tonight. Prior to that, Mountville will face the Warwick Phillies in an elimination game, beginning at 6 p.m
Solanco White 7, Warwick Phillies 5
In a game that had a little bit of everything, including a 15-minute rain delay in the third inning, No. 4-seeded Solanco White jumped ahead early and held on for dear life at the end to emerge with a 7-5 victory over the second-seeded Warwick Phillies.
Taking command with a 4-run first inning, Solanco was never headed. Which didn’t mean it didn’t get very interesting at the end.
Trailing 7-4 and down to their last out, the Phillies loaded the bases on a Matthew Seibert double, Zach Shertzer’s single and a walk to Evan Rohrbach, issued by Kyle Stively who came on in relief of Seth Harnish.
Throwing a sweeping breaking ball, Stively hit Cam Hess to force in a run, but got Matt Williams on strikes to nail down the save and send White to tonight’s winner’s bracket semifinal.
Harnish gave winning pitcher Zed Baker the early advantage with a 3-run, opposite-field hit to right. That coming on the heels of Michael May’s RBI double.
The Phillies got two back on Hess’ 2-run single in the bottom of the first and added a run in the second on an error on Seibert’s safety squeeze.
Baker helped his cause with a long solo homer, way out to left, in the third and Josiah Petersheim delivered an insurance run in the fifth inning on an infield out.
Turning point: The Phillies left the bases loaded in the second when Baker struck out Rohrbach and second baseman Sean Keller snared Hess’ liner.
Star of the game: Harnish, who went 2 for 4 with three RBI and pitched two sharp innings behind Baker and May before running into trouble in the seventh.
Key statistic: Left on base: eight for Solanco, nine for Warwick.
Up next: Solanco plays Manheim Township, 20-2 mercy rule winner over the Mountville Indians in Monday’s first game, tonight, following the 6 p.m. elimination game between Mountville and Warwick.