Warwick tops Solanco to earn spot in LNP Midget-Midget final

By DAVE BYRNE
Sports Writer

The Midget-Midget championship game of the 70th LNP Tournament will look a lot like the title game of the 69th.

Same teams. Same coaches. Many of the same players.

Warwick’s Evan Rohrbach was the winner pitcher in their 6-3 win over Solanco. (Brian K. Leid photo)

The Warwick Phillies earned the right to meet the Manheim Township Blue Streaks for the M-M title after defeating Solanco White, 6-3, in a bracket elimination game Wednesday evening at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field.

Township came from behind for a 7-4 victory to take the 2014 title.

In Wednesday’s game, Zach Shertzer singled with an out in the bottom of the first inning and stole his way over to third before stealing home on a pickoff play, giving Warwick a 1-0 lead.

The next inning the Phillies (44-5) opened a 4-0 lead as Tate Landis executed a suicide squeeze bunt, scoring Reagan Kline, and Shertzer and Evan Rohrbach hit back-to-back RBI doubles.

Solanco broke through in the fourth as Zed Baker doubled and scored on a wild pitch, but Shertzer and Rohrbach went back-to-back — again — opening a 6-1 lead.

Turning point: Solanco reached reliever Cam Hess for a last-ditch rally in the top of the sixth inning. Losing pitcher Seth Harnish doubled in a run and Kyle Stively followed with an RBI single.

Solanco (23-9-2) loaded the bases as Hess drilled Josiah Petersheim in the middle of the back. Matthew Williams relieved Hess and got back-to-back strikeouts to nail down the save.

Stars of the game: Rohrbach went 4 2/3 innings for the win, allowing a run on two hits. At the plate he was 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI doubles. Shertzer’s 3 for 3 included two RBI doubles. Special notice to Williams, who needed six pitches to quench the fire.

Key statistic: Rohrbach struck out nine, five of the first six, four looking.

Quotable: Coming in with the bases loaded, facing the go-ahead run … no pressure there, right Matthew Williams? “I don’t usually get nervous,” said Williams, who came dead red at Sean Keller and Mitchell Myers. “It’s just a game. I just focus and have fun.”

“I just went out and threw my fastball, two-seam and four-seam, and my curveball, got a good result from it,” said Rohrbach, who had two innings under his belt coming in, allowing a run on one hit while striking out four. “I was getting a little tired (in the fifth inning, when he issued his only two walks). My arm was going dead.”

Up next: The championship game is Friday, at Kunkle Field, with the first pitch set for 7 p.m.

Zach Shertzer steals home for one of Warwick’s six runs against Solanco. (Brian K. Leid photo)

Warwick’s Matthew Seibert rounds third to score on a double by Evan Rohrbach. (Brian K. Leid photo)