Last updated: July 03. 2013 12:10AM - 2394 Views
By - jerzar@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6394

Ethan Zawatski of the Back Mountain All-Stars, left, heads for second base as Cole Coolbaugh of the Bob Horlacher All-Stars throws the ball to first base in the 4th inning in Tuesday's District 31 Major Baseball in Beaumont.
Ethan Zawatski of the Back Mountain All-Stars, left, heads for second base as Cole Coolbaugh of the Bob Horlacher All-Stars throws the ball to first base in the 4th inning in Tuesday's District 31 Major Baseball in Beaumont.
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BEAUMONT — Two of the first four pitches Tuesday sailed over the fence. Baseball couldn’t be this easy.

And it wasn’t.

Despite the impressive barrage, Back Mountain American had to battle to the end to defeat Bob Horlacher 11-6 in the District 31 Little League Major division winners bracket final.

American, the defending champion, will play at home Friday against the team that emerges from the elimination bracket. American can win the title with a victory. Horlacher will host the elimination bracket final at 6 p.m. today playing Northwest.

“I’m thrilled at the way they played overall,” Horlacher manager Tom Traver said. “We had a couple little miscues on defense, but we never quit. We kept battling back. We only burned one pitcher, so we should be in good shape going into the (elimination) game.”

Horlacher wasn’t in good shape early Tuesday.

American lead-off hitter Michael Luksic hit the second pitch he saw over the left-field fence as part of his 4-for-4 day. Ethan Zawatski followed and did the same, swatting the second offering over the right-center fence. The hits were part of a four-run first for American.

Michael Doggett added a two-run single in the second, increasing American’s lead to 6-0.

Horlacher clawed back within 6-2 in the bottom of the second, using some American errors and an RBI single by Tyler Faux to score the runs. But again, American struck for four runs, this time in the fourth.

Luskic had an RBI double, Derek Answini had an RBI single and Dalton Simpson knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, pushing American’s lead to 10-2.

Horlacher roared right back with four runs of its own, cutting the deficit to 10-6. Mike Lee drove in two runs with a single and Cole Coolbaugh brought in another with a groundout. Horlacher, though, couldn’t get the offense going in the last two innings. It was retired in order in the sixth, the only time all game either team went 1-2-3.

“Every team we’ve played in this tournament, the coaching had been fantastic,” American manager Jeff Doggett said. “This team in particular is probably the most resourceful team I’ve seen. They’re not afraid to use anybody, they have a lot of confidence, their coaches do a phenomenal job. There’s a reason they’re here.”

Horlacher hopes to be at American on Friday as well. Traver feels his team with bounce back and will have its ace, Faux, available to pitch.

“Whoever we have tomorrow, we’re going to give them a handful,” Traver said. “We got our ace to go with, so I’m pretty happy how we worked out with the pitching. We would have liked to come out with a win obviously, but we managed our pitchers pretty well.”

American finished with 13 hits and scored in double digits for the second time in its three tournament games. Defense, though, was a problem as American committed four errors.

“I’d like to tighten up our defense a little bit,” Doggett said. “These are routine plays and we’ve got to make them.”

Back Mtn. American`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Michael Luksic ss`4`2`4`2`1`0`1

Ethan Zawatski 3b`3`2`1`1`0`0`1

Michael Anderson cf`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Michael Doggett c`4`1`2`2`0`0`0

Dalton Simpson 1b`2`1`0`1`0`0`0

Mason Gattuso rf`1`1`1`1`0`0`0

Mark Roginski rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

John Betzko lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Derek Answini lf`2`0`1`1`0`0`0

Michael Collins 2b`4`0`2`1`0`0`0

Darren Kerdesky p`4`2`2`0`0`0`0


Bob Horlacher`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Tyler Faux ss`2`1`1`1`0`0`0

Mike Lee 2b`4`1`1`2`0`0`0

Cole Coolbaugh p`4`0`0`1`0`0`0

C.J. Wright 3b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tommy Traver c`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Brenden Jesse 1b`2`1`2`0`2`0`0

Robert Phillips lf`2`1`0`0`0`0`0

Mike Spudis lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mitchel Rome rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zach Strazdus rf`1`1`1`0`0`0`0

Shane Sherwood cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Lenny Kelley cf`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Totals 27`6`7`4`1`0`0`0

Back Mountain American`420`401` — 11

Bob Horlacher`020`400` — 6


Kerdesky (W)`3.0`3`2`0`2`2




Coolbaugh (L)`2.1`8`6`5`2`3





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