No. 3 East Juniata knocked out of bracket in all-Tiger battle
COCOLAMUS – Southern Columbia beat up on East Juniata pitcher’s Ryan Stuck and Nick Lorenz Saturday, and the result was a short tournament for the local Tigers in the District 4 Class AA baseball tournament.
Southern Columbia bats chased Stuck off the mound with two outs in the fifth, and continued to clobber Lorenz, combining for 15 hits. Southern’s Columbia’s 5-0 victory over East Juniata came because East Juniata was overpowered by Southern Columbia’s aggressive at the plate and on-base.
“There’s an old cliche about good pitching beats good batting,” East Juniata coach Tim Brubaker said. “We saw (Southern was) very aggressive with their bats, and Stucky did a good job keeping them off the bases.”
But Southern Columbia’s defense held tough against an East Juniata team that was one of the better hitting teams in the Tri-Valley League. John Wilson, who picked up the win on the hill, prevented East Juniata from gaining any momentum offensively.
The visitors’ Tyler Behrent got the ball rolling early in the first. Matt Klock, who was Taylor Young’s courtesy runner, stole second during Garrett Sosnoski’s at-bat. Behrent lifted the ball into shallow right field that gave Klock enough time to round third and dash home.
Blake Marks eventually drove in Behrent later in the inning, but was caught stealing second and picked off to end the inning.
Behrent scored Klock again with two outs in the third inning. Klock once again successfully stole second, and Behrent hit a first-pitch blooper into shallow center.
“Behrent knocked in knocked in the first (two) runs. So we walked him the next time he went up to bat,” Brubaker said.
Wilson’s bid for a perfect game ended early in the bottom of the second inning when Dalton Rowe advanced to first on a fielding error. Rowe was later caught stealing second when Taylor Young rifled the ball to Sosnoski who had plenty of time to slap the tag.
With the bases juiced, Hunter added two more insurance runs in the fifth when he blasted a frozen rope to deep right that became a two-run double when the ball stayed fair.
“We tried to keep the ball off the same place all the time (over the plate),” Brubaker said. “Unfortunately, we let a couple hang out over.”
But East Juniata had been steadily keying into Wilson’s pitches, and in the fifth inning started to get solid hits.
Stuck hit a second-pitch fastball into shallow right. Rowe hit a dribbler to Marks, who slapped the tag on Stuck as he ran by. Marks tried to turn the double play, but Rowe barely beat the throw.
Designated hitter Kyle Hart hit a one-hopper to Marks, who again applied the tag to Rowe and tried to turn an inning-ending double play but was unsuccessful.
Bailey Coder then hit a roller to Doug Michaels, who made the unassisted play at first to end in the inning.
“When we hit the ball, it was playable. (Southern) did well on defense,” Brubaker said.
East Juniata’s season closes at 15-5.