New Era Correspondent
Manheim Township Black was the perfect storm.
Hempfield Black was the fishing boat.
Hempfield could find no shelter from Township’s 15-hit attack and was swamped, 18-1, in the nightcap of New Era Tournament ‘s Midget-Midget quarterfinal opener at Mt.Joy’s Kunkle Field.
It was a productive day all around for Wednesday’s winners as the Safe Harbor Cubs walked away from Reamstown, 17-7, in the first game. Harbor and Township will meet in the first game of the M-M semifinals next Tuesday, July 24.
While Township’s victory may not have been a surprise — Township knocked off Hempfield 7-2 earlier this summer in the Manheim tournament — the magnitude in the scoring differential had to be a surprise.
“I was a little surprised,” said Hempfield coach Dave Hungarter. “But, you’ve got to tip your hat to Manheim Township. They were clicking on all cylinders tonight and Austin Gallagher pitched a marvelous game at the same time.”
Gallagher held Hempfield (23-10) to two hits, striking out six while walking two. He hit one batter, Zack Yoder, who eventually scored Hempfield’s lone run on a bases-loaded infield force by Peter Mannino.
Township (29-7) hit the ground running with a 4-run first inning and didn’t stop scoring until Kunkle’s custodians turned the lights out. The top five hitters in coach Glenn Gallagher’s lineup went 12-for-18, scoring 14 of the 18 runs.
“We’ve hit real well through our top five,” said Gallagher, who is the head coach at Millersville University.
Carlos Medina and Bernie Ziritzky, the fourth and fifth hitters in the lineup, did a large share of the damage Wednesday. Medina knocked in five runs with a two singles and a triple and Ziritzky chased home three with a pair of base hits.
Paul Hester went 3-for-3 from the leadoff spot, scoring four runs, while Nick Downey and Austin Gallager each scored three runs. All three knocked in a run apiece, Gallagher’s on a ground-rule double that rolled out of the left field corner.
Even the bottom half deliverd as Robert Schimaneck was 2-for-4 with an RBi and a run and Cory Pfautz, coming off the bench, tripled home a run.
“We’ve played in a lot of tournaments , played in a lot of big games,” Gallagher said, noting that his team had made it to the finals of four tournaments this summer, winning three. “They were ready.”
In the opener, the contestants weren’t quite as ready.
Three Reamstown pitchers and two Safe Harbor pitchers conspired to walk 26 batters. Nine of the 15 passes issued by Reamstown wound up scoring. Five of the 11 Harbor freebies did likewise.
Harbor (10-19) put nine runs on the board in the first inning and was never in serious jeopardy thereafter.
But Reamstown (15-4) didn’t just get in their cars and go home after the rally.
The Cocalico League champions got two back in their half of the first, and had some fun in a four-run third inning as Paul Karmilowicz and Matt Fetter each stole home.
Zach Martin relieved Kevin Roak in the third inning and restored order for Harbor, allowing one hit the rest of the way while striking out seven.
Harbor’s hitting hero turned out to be Jordan Gibbs, who legged out a pair of run-scoring triples, singled and scored a run.