Saturday, July 26, 2014

Back Mountain American powers past West Side in District 31 Baseball

July 01. 2014 11:42PM
By Jay Monahan For The Times Leader

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PLYMOUTH — Back Mountain American coach Joe Phillips contends that home runs are, by and large, a mistake. But you wouldn’t know it from the first two innings of Tuesday’s District 31 Little League Major Baseball winners bracket finals.

Make no mistake about it: BMA launched three home runs, accounting for the team’s first eight runs, en route to a 12-1 victory over West Side in the double-elimination tournament.

“We teach the kids to hit the ball on a long drive,” BMA coach Joe Phillips said. “We tell them that home runs can be a mistake. There is no one out there trying to hit a home run. We just try to hit the ball on a line drive and good things happen from there.”

West Side moves to the elimination bracket and will host either West Pittston or Kingston/Forty Fort at 6 p.m. today. The winner of that game travel to Back Mountain American for a 6 p.m. game Thursday.

Back Mountain American’s first four batters did the brunt of the damage at the plate. The top of the lineup combined for eight hits, 11 runs and nine RBI.

Joe Phillips went 2 for 3 with three runs. Jake Connolly’s three hits put him a home run shy of the cycle. Will McCrum had four RBI, and Justin Finarelli drove in three runners.

“We have a group of 13 kids that everyone can step up and have the big day for us,” coach Phillips said. “We’ve had some great practices. We had some decent kids come from a great competitive league. Anybody can be the hero any particular day.”

McCrum put BMA on top in the first with a three-run homer before West Side could record an out. Phillips started things off with single, and Connolly moved him into scoring position with a double.

Three Back Mountain American pitchers combined to allow just one hit to West Side hitters. West Side had its lone hit on its first at-bat of the game by Tyler O’Kane. O’Kane advanced on a wild pitch and stole third. He scored on a passed ball on a strikeout that would have finished the inning to put the deficit to 3-1.

BMA piled on five runs in the second to give itself a formidable 8-1 lead. Phillips scorched a line drive over the left field fence for a two-run home run. Three batters later, Finarelli went opposite field for a three-run home run that landed well beyond the right field fence.

“It comes back to practices,” coach Phillips said. “They show up at practices. We simulate some games. It comes back to the practices. There is no reason they should be nervous on the field.”

Back Mountain American batted around again in the third inning, tallying four runs on four walks.

Michael Starbuck picked up the win on the mound. Finarelli came in to strike out three in one inning of relief.


Back Mtn. American 12, West Side 1

Back M0untain American`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Todd Phillips c`3`3`2`2`0`0`1

Jake Connolly 2b`4`3`3`0`1`1`0

Will McCrum ss`3`3`2`4`0`0`1

Justin Finarelli 1b`2`1`1`3`0`0`1

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

Sam Nocito 3b`0`0`0`1`0`0`0

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

Jack Lukasavage cf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Chris Langan cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

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

Brett Ostroski rf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

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

Lucas McGechan lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


West Side`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Tyler O’Kane cf`2`1`1`0`0`0`0

Matt Giza rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dave White p`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jake Shuster ss`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Christian Reino 3b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Steve Zeske 1b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Chris Mattello 2b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Trent Giza pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tyler Wyberski c`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Carson Canavan rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Back Mtn. American`354`0`—12

West Side`100`0`—`1

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