HIGHLAND PARK - Once, twice, three times a championship.
Tuesday's 2012 version of the Jeff Smith Memorial Tournament had two familiar foes battling for the crown as Smeltz and Aumiller faced off against twice-beaten Noerrs.
Smeltz and Aumiller's had collected both of the previous wins over the talented team of youngsters in Mifflin County Youth Baseball Minor A action.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Nick Smith, 13, a member of the Strodes Mills Babe Ruth team, and son of the late Jeff Smith, delivers the ceremonial first pitch at the Jeff Smith Memorial Tournament championship game Tuesday evening in Derry Park.
Again, Smeltz and Aumiller had Noerrs' number as it collected a 7-1 victory, giving them the trophy and bragging rights for the postseason.
Despite the final score, the game consisted of strong pitching and defense on both sides as the two combined for 12 hits in the contest.
"These were a great group of kids to coach this year. They came to practice earned what they got and never backed down," Smeltz and Aumiller manager Scott Pupo said. "The worked hard, and came to play every night and this is the end result."
After two and half innings of scoreless play, Smeltz and Aumiller broke out with a three-run frame in the bottom of the third, breaking the tie with three consecutive doubles.
With one out, it was the bottom of the order that gave Smeltz a boost as Robbie Zimmerman showed patience at the plate and walked.
After a second out, Smeltz was cool under pressure, especially lead-off hitter Guage Schaeffer. Schaeffer blasted a double into left field, scoring Zimmerman to make it 1-0.
Mark Shilling followed with a double of his own, roping one to the outfield, scoring Schaeffer.
Jaxson Pupo, who was also the winning pitcher, rounded out the two-baggers smacking one as well as Shilling motored home for the third run of the inning.
However, Noerrs didn't make it to the championship by accident as the challengers battled right back scoring a run in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to two.
With two outs, Connor Cherry picked up his second hit of the game and put himself in scoring position on stolen bases. Teammate Leeum Noerr belted an RBI single to put his team on the board.
The Cherry score was the first run scored against Smeltz and Aumiller in the tournament after a pair of 10-0 shutout wins.
But unfortunately for Noerrs, Smeltz and Aumillers got the bats going again in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six run and ending the contest.
Colton Tyson got the inning going with a single to leftfield, sending the top of the order back to the plate.
Schaeffer continued the hitting hustling out an infield single.
Shilling, Pupo and Blaine Dickson finished out the game with consecutive RBI singles, earning the hardware.
"It was a great season. We had a great team this year we just came up a little short tonight," Noerrs skipper Chris Noerr said. "Smeltz is a great team and hats off to them for the win."