Last updated: July 06. 2014 10:32PM - 1839 Views
By Jay Monahan For The Times Leader

Will McCrum (right) jumps into the arms of Frankie Nockley to celebrate Back Mountain American's District 31 Little League championship on Sunday.
Will McCrum (right) jumps into the arms of Frankie Nockley to celebrate Back Mountain American's District 31 Little League championship on Sunday.
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KINGSTON — The turnaround for Back Mountain American to recover from Saturday’s loss was minimal. A group of 11 and 12-year-olds were somehow expected to rebound, suit up less than 24 hours after seeing a four-run lead turn into a nine-run loss in a matter of two innings.

In theory, the task placed on the BMA Little League major baseball team was one that even professional athletes struggle with.

Unfazed and calculated, Back Mountain American cruised to a 14-2 victory Sunday over Kingston/Forty Fort to claim the District 31 championship in the second meeting between the two teams in as many days.

“We didn’t play our best game yesterday, but we didn’t put any extra pressure on them,” BMA coach Joe Phillips said. “Do what we do at practice; and hopefully, things would go our way today.”

BMA advances to the Section 5 tournament that will begin Saturday at District 16 winner Nanticoke.

KFF, which pounded out 17 runs the day before, was held to three hits on the game. BMA starter Todd Phillips was masterful in four innings of work, allowing two hits and an earned run. Phillips struck out five KFF batters to earn the win.

“He’s pitched well all season long,” coach Phillips said of his son. “The last few guys we’ve pitched have all done a great job. Today, he was well rested. He was ready to go the full distance but the defense did a good job behind him and made a lot of good plays.”

The tight-fisted pitching counts that proved so crucial in both the pool play and elimination tournament factored into Sunday’s game at Hamilton Park. In the wake of the blowout KFF win on Saturday, BMA coaching staff saved Phillips and Justin Finarelli for the final. Finarelli struck out three batters in an inning of work to close the game.

“(Justin) looked fantastic,” coach Phillips said. “He’s coming in off a surgery. He played an excellent season. He came back with several good sessions. And, boy, he really stepped up for us today.”

BMA added two in the top of the first after Frankie Nockley drove in a run with a single. They added two more in the second thanks to back-to-back RBI doubles by Phillips and Jake Connolly.

The Back Mountain American bats found their rhythm in the fourth to the tune of seven runs. Brett Ostroski ignited the offense with a stand-up double.

With the bases loaded, Will McCrum doubled in two runs to make it a 6-0 lead. Finarelli drove in another with a single, followed by a Michael Starbuck single that added another. A pair of KFF errors brought three more runs in as BMA walked away with an 11-0 lead.

Following a two-run KFF fourth, BMA reinstated the 10-run rule off a Starbuck two-bagger.

Phillips scored four runs for BMA. Nockley led the team with three RBI.

Michael Kane doubled for KFF. Dylan Nastanski and Colin Conway had each of the team’s RBIs.


Back Mountain American 14, Kingston/Forty Fort 2

B.M. American`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Todd Phillips p`2`4`1`1`1`0`0

Jake Connolly 2b`2`2`1`1`1`0`0

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

Justin Finarelli 1b`4`1`1`2`0`0`0`0

Frankie Nockley 3b`4`1`2`3`0`0`0

Michael Starbuck c`3`1`2`2`1`0`0

Chris Langan ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dylan Schuster lf`3`1`2`0`1`0`0

Sam Nocito lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

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

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

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

Lucas McGechan rf`1`1`0`0`0`0`0



Colin Conway c`3`0`0`1`0`0`0

Thomas Federici ss`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Rocky DiBernardo p`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Michael Kane 3b`3`0`1`0`1`0`0

Rocco Barchi 1b`1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Brendan Woods rf`1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Alex Jaworski cf`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jayden Watkins ph`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Harrison May lf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dylan Nastanski lf`0`0`0`1`0`0`0

Mason Millner 2b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

McKenna Dolan rf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0


Back Mtn American`220`73`-`14

Kingston/Forty Fort`000`20`-`2

B.M. American`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Phillips (W)`4`2`2`1`5`5



DiBernardo (L)`3`6`5`5`2`4



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