Mountville, Warwick tough in opening wins

Brendan Martin fields the ball for Warwick.

By Dave Byrne
Sports Staff

“I remember, like, when I was five,” mused Shaun Fedor, looking back over the passage of seven years. “I dreamed of playing here.”

Here being Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field, the cathedral of youth baseball and home of the Lancaster Newspapers New Era Tournament.

Unfortunately for Fedor, first baseman for the Manheim Township Streaks, his dream did not result in a win, at least not on this particular evening.

The Warwick Phillies defeated the Streaks 4-2 in the second game of an opening-night doubleheader in the 68th New Era Midget-Midget tournament.

In the opener, the top-seeded Mountville Indians jumped out of character, slamming a pair of two-run home runs in a 6-5 victory over the Strasburg-Willow Street Cardinals.

Mountville and Warwick meet this evening in the winners’ bracket contest, the second game of a scheduled twinbill. The Cardinals and Streaks meet in an elimination game at 6 p.m.

Mountville (43-4), long known for creative scoring, living on steals, bunts and taking the extra base, broke out the heavy lumber Monday night.

C.J. Saylor and Christian Shepperson each stroked two-run homers — both to the exact, same dead center-field spot — in a four-run third inning.

The outburst helped overcome an early 2-0 lead for the Cardinals (27-8), courtesy of Derek Eckman’s two-run, second-inning double.

“Those two home runs got us going,” Shepperson said. “All of us just fed on that.”

Nick Fiore led off the inning with a double off the base of the fence in left center.

Cardinals starter Dylan Byler got the next two outs, but Saylor fouled off two good pitches, working the count to 3-and-2, then pounced.

“It was a high, hanging curve ball,” he said. “I like those ’cause it floats right in there.”

And rockets out.

Ty Vaughn followed, doubling to right, and Shepperson jacked an 0-1 offering over the fence, 255 feet away.

The Indians added two unearned runs in the fourth inning as Ryan Moffatt’s two-out fly to left clanked off Zack Kingsley’s glove.

Turns out, those runs came in handy as Patrick Holmes ripped a three-run homer out to right center in the fifth inning.

That chased Moffatt, but Vaughn came on to nail down the save, and the victory.

The Phillies (37-5) scored single runs in the first four innings.

Colby Martin opened the game with an infield single to second and went first-to-third on a throwing error by Bryce Behmer on Dagan Young’s sacrifice attempt. He scored on Kyle Gibble’s infield out.

Jeffrey Kline (2 for 2, 2 RBIs) slugged an opposite-field homer over left-center in the second inning to put the Phils up 2-0 before Ben Demarco put the Streaks (18-7) on the board with an RBI bloop single behind first base.

Young walked and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1 Warwick, but Behmer scored on a throwing error, bring it back to a one-run game.

Winning pitcher Brock Fassnacht walked and stole second leading off the fourth inning, then came the whole way around as Kline ripped an infield single off the glove of Luca Danos at second.

Fassnacht painted the corners with a nasty 10-to-4 curveball, spotting his fastball, to keep the Streaks off-balance.

He held Township to three hits and one earned run, finishing with seven strikeouts, walking none.

Josiah Snyder focuses on a grounder for Mountville.

Dylan Byler pitches for SWS.

Manheim Township pitcher Bryce Behmer delivers to the plate.