BEAVER SPRINGS - Sometimes you lose a game because of errors, other times you'll get far fewer hits than the opponent, and at other times you're simply outpitched. The latter is what happened to West Snyder Friday in their Susquehanna Valley American Legion League matchup against Danville.
West Snyder (4-14) dropped the game to Danville's Mike Ramsey, who went four and a third innings and gave up just two hits in a 7-0 heartbreaker.
"Their pitcher was throwing strikes, he was moving the ball around and he was tough to hit," West Snyder manager Chris Combs said.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
West Snyder’s Alex Lash connects on a pitch as Danville catcher Tyler Jenkins waits for for ball to arrive at home plate Friday in Beaver Springs. Danville dropped West Snyder 7-0. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
And Combs was right - Ramsey did have a good game, striking out six batters in five innings and keeping West Snyder's batters at bay.
"It wasn't so much a bad hitting performance," Combs said of his team's game at the plate. "It was a good pitching performance."
Despite difficulties getting runners on base, West Snyder was in the game and trailed Danville by only one run for the first half of the game.
*West Snyder hosts Shamokin today
In the top of the fourth, strong defense from West Snyder's outfield prevented Danville from breaking the game open. With a runner on second for Danville, both center fielder Colton Snook and left fielder Zach Mast covered a lot of ground to catch line drives hit deep into the outfield. Because of their strong defense, Danville's runner never advanced past second, and Danville batters Bret Berg and Scott Heeter were prevented from scoring one definite, and probably more runs.
Then, during the top of the fifth, West Snyder got some men on base for what proved to be the only inning where it threatened to score.
The inning started out when Mast reached first base on a walk. Displaying some aggressive base running, Mast stole second, and then was advanced to third on a bunt that became a successful base hit by Eli Stem.
With Mast on third and Stem on first with no outs, it appeared as if West Snyder's pinch hitter, Josh Fike, had the chance to bring in a few runs - but it soon became clear that this would not be the case.
The first out came when Stem was caught in an attempt to steal second. Following that play, a miscommunication between Combs, the third base coach, and Fike resulted in a botched suicide squeeze attempt - which in turn resulted in Mast leaving third and getting tagged out at home.
"We tried for a suicide (squeeze), but the batter forgot to bunt. It doesn't usually go well when that happens," Combs explained.
Still at bat, but this time with no runners on, Fike managed to revive some of West Snyder's hopes by making it to second on a line drive to right-center field. However, the inning ended when the next batter, Nick Lorenz, lined out to the pitcher.
In the top of the sixth, Danville broke the game open, scoring five of their seven runs in that inning. Making some opportunistic swings of the bat, including a three-run home run from Mason Fortenbaugh, Danville capitalized on three walks, two errors and a wild pitch to score three runs against West Snyder's starting pitcher, Bailey Coder, and two runs against Eli Stem, who finished the inning after Coder gave up the home run.
In the end, the lopsided score didn't seem to bring Combs down.
"They had a bad sixth inning, but other than that the boys played very well," Combs said. "Bailey threw a real tough game."
West Snyder is slated to take on Shamokin this evening in its regular-season finale before the Susquehanna Valley American Legion League tournament begins.
Mount Airy 13, Mifflin County 6
FREDERICK, Md. - All 13 of Mount Airy's runs were unearned as Mifflin County's Legion team dropped its second game in as many days in the wood bat tournament in Frederick, Md.
The locals fell 13-6.
Seth Bowersox took the loss for Mifflin County. But Wolfe was pleased with his effort as Mifflin County just didn't make the plays behind him.
"He did what he wanted him to do today," Mifflin County coach Larry Wolfe said. "He threw strikes and that means we have to make plays behind him and we didn't."
Evan Pupo and Isaac Strohecker each had two hits and two RBIs for Mifflin County, which will play Bristol, Conn., at 8 a.m. today in Frederick.
"When we're scoring runs things are fine and when there's some adversity we don't respond to it as well as we should," Wolfe said. "We'll keep working on it."