BY DAVE BYRNE
The Mountville Angels scored a titanic victory in their LNP Junior-Midget opener Wednesday night at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field.
Titanic in that yes, winning a 13-11 marathon over Lititz VFW was a huge victory. Also, Titanic in that VFW was sailing along, hit an iceberg and sank.
Leading 5-2 heading into the sixth inning, VFW starter Nick Breznak was in command, allowing just two hits, both coming in Mountville’s two-run fourth.
By the time the sixth inning ended, Breznak was out of the game and the Angels (25-4) led 8-5.
A lead they immediately gave back as VFW (32-8-1) scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to go back in front 10-8.
Undaunted, Mountville mounted another rally in the seventh which began with Alec Santiago launching a titanic home run over right center.
The Angels scored five times to go up 13-10, then gave a run back in the bottom of the inning before DJ Esbenshade dropped a nasty curveball on the inside corner to strike out Colby Martin with the bases loaded, ending the game.
Lititz jumped out 5-0 in the first inning on Adam Ricketts two-run homer and Caleb Heck’s three-run blast.
Breznak took a perfect game into the fourth inning, broken up by Ty Vaughn’s leadoff single. One out later Saylor homered to right to put the Angels on the board.
Vaughn would finish 3 for 4 with a key RBI in the seventh inning. Christian Shepperson knocked in three in his last two at bats with a two-run single and bases-loaded walk.
In addition to his homer, Heck walked with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Turning point: Up three runs with six outs to go, VFW unraveled, committing three errors and walking two to go from up 5-2 to down 8-5.
Star of the game: Mountville’s never quit attitude. The Angels sent 21 batters to the plate in the last two innings to come from behind twice.
Key statistic: The teams combined for 17 runs in the final two innings.
STRASBURG/WILLOW STREET WHITE SOX 5, ELIZABETHTOWN NAVY 2
They played home run derby in the opening game Wednesday evening at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field.
No big surprise as, over the years, Kunkle has been the site of many a derby in the Junior-Midget division of the LNP Tournament.
For years Kunkle was a notorious J-M launching pad as technology and genetics teamed to shrink Kunkle’s dimensions. Since the LNP Tourney went to wooden bats in the J-Ms in 2009, the park has shed its bandbox reputation.
Still, SWS out-homered E-town 2-1, with third baseman Patrick Holmes’ two-run blast in the third inning the decisive blow.
Justin Gibble gave Navy (15-6) an early lead, slugging a first-inning solo homer ten feet above and over the scoreboard in left center.
Derek Eckman evened the score in the bottom if the first, reaching on a single and taking third on an error as he stole second.
Losing pitcher Larry Locker attempted to pick Eckman off third — he did pick two runners off first in the game — but threw the ball away, allowing Eckman to trot home.
Holmes made it a 3-1 game and the Sox (20-1) tacked on a run in the fourth on Jarred Hetchis’ solo home run. E-town got that back on Nevin Book’s RBI infield out in the sixth.
Connor Blantz came on in relief of winning pitcher Aaron Snyder to begin the seventh inning and squelched a potential uprising, getting Gibble, the tying run, to foul out — deep — to right, ending the game.
Turning point: Holmes turned on Locker’s first pitch, depositing it deep in the parking lot beyond left field to give SWS a 3-1 lead. The Sox never trailed after that.
Stars of the game: Holmes, who went 2 for 3 with a sharp single off third baseman Devyn Clair’s glove. Snyder allowed just four hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings’ work.
Key statistic: Snyder struck out 12, many on a curve that dove out of the strike zone.