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McCrum’s slam, seven RBI ignite Back Mountain LL team

Last updated: June 30. 2014 11:27PM - 2333 Views
By - psokoloski@civitasmedia.com



Back Mountain American cleanup hitter Justin Finarelli is congratulated after following Will McCrum's grand slam with a mighty clout of his own for the team's first back-to-back homers this season in a win over West Pittston.
Back Mountain American cleanup hitter Justin Finarelli is congratulated after following Will McCrum's grand slam with a mighty clout of his own for the team's first back-to-back homers this season in a win over West Pittston.
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DALLAS — One monstrous home run was impressive enough.


But two in a matter of three innings?


That made the show Will McCrum put on during the opening day of double-elimination bracket play downright overwhelming.


McCrum cracked the game open with a grand slam, then later added a three-run shot Monday as Back Mountain American erupted against West Pittston for a 16-2 victory that made a statement in the Little League Major Baseball District 31 finals bracket.


“I was just trying to get a nice rip with one,” McCrum said, “hit it as hard as possible.”


He did that twice, and made it harder for West Pittston to recover at the Back Mountain Little League Field.


McCrum’s bases-loaded blast over the left-center field wall gave defending district champion American a 6-0 lead in the second inning.


“Just looking to contribute to the team,” McCrum shrugged. “Just hoping I could help the team out, give the pitcher a little support. It’s just a team effort. Practice hard, play hard.”


Then in the fourth inning, McCrum’s cannon-shot that cleared the center field fence in the fourth also brought home Todd Phillips and Jake Connolly for a 15-1 American advantage during a six-run rally that ensured the game would end early.


“With this team, it’s a matter of any one of the 13 players can come up and have a big game,” said Back Mountain American manager Bill Phillips, who won last year’s District 31 title with essentially the same group. “It just happened that Will McCrum saw the ball well, put some good swings on some pitches.


“Today was a career day for him.”


McCrum’s moment may have been magnified during his seven-RBI day from the No. 3 spot in the batting order, but he certainly wasn’t the only American player swinging a a hot bat.


Cleanup hitter Justin Finarelli followed McCrum’s grand slam by rocketing a homer of his own well over the left-center field fence, then cleared the bases with a two-out, three-run triple in the third inning to finish with four RBI and two runs scored.


“We haven’t had that situation all season,” Bill Phillips said of the back-to-back homers. “I believe that’s the first time it happened for our team.”


And catcher Todd Phillips was certainly making things happen in American’s leadoff spot, going 3 for 3 while scoring runs all four times he stepped to the plate.


“This is, by far, our most productive offensive showing,” Bill Phillips said. “It seems to be good timing, going into this double-elimination format. Hopefully, the kids can stay hot.”


It’s a system American is very familiar with.


The team won the 2013 district title for the 11-12 age group and also the 2012 District 31 championship in the 9-10 grouping by playing the double-elimination process from start to finish. This year, the opening rounds were held under a round-robin pool play format, with the top teams then advancing to this week’s double-elimination final round.


“We’ve just got to survive and advance right now,” McCrum said, noting the importance of winning the first game of a double-elimination tourney. “It’s a really big edge. You don’t have to get in the losers’ bracket. We’ve got to go hard.


“It’s staying alive.”


“It’s less games that you have to play,” Bill Phillips agreed. “It won’t be as taxing on the pitching staff. That’s usually a plus.”


Back Mountain American`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Todd Phillips c`3`4`3`1`0`0`0


Jake Connolly 2b,p`4`3`0`0`0`0`0


Will McCrum ss`3`2`2`7`0`0`2


Justin Finarelli 1b,p`3`2`2`4`0`1`1


Frankie Nockley 3b`3`0`1`1`0`0`0


Michael Starbuck p`2`0`1`0`0`0`0


Lucas McGeehan ph`3`1`1`1`0`0`0


Jack Lukasavage cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Chris Langan ph`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Matt Maransky rf`1`2`1`0`0`0`0


Brett Ostroski ph`2`1`1`0`0`0`0


Dylan Schuster lf`1`1`1`1`1`0`0


Sam Nocito 2b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`30`16`13`15`1`1`3


West Pittston`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR


Pat Musinski lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Hunter Johnson lf,p`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Dominic Deluca cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


F.J. Braccini 3b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0


Daniel Wiedle 1b,p`2`1`1`0`0`0`0


Cory Mruk c`1`1`1`0`0`0`0


Memphis Metcalf ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


John Angelella ss`2`0`0`1`0`0`0


Chase Yochem p`2`0`1`0`1`0`0


Derek Ambrosino rf`1`0`0`1`0`0`0


Jay Switzer 2b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Totals`15`2`3`2`1`0`0


American`163`6` - 16


West Pittston`010`1` - 2


American`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Starbuck, W`1`0`0`0`1`3


Connolly`1.2`2`1`1`0`0


Finarelli`1.3`1`1`1`0`0


West Pittston`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Yochem, L`3.2`9`12`8`2`6


Musinski`0`2`4`0`0`0


Wiedle`0.1`2`0`0`0`1


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