Four homers lead to win over Archbald

Last updated: July 13. 2014 10:33PM - 2071 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com

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NANTICOKE — Considering how the offense has been going, there’s not much tinkering needed.

That hands-off strategy worked once again Sunday for Back Mountain American.

American pounded out four homers — two by Todd Phillips — to defeat Archbald 10-6 in the winners bracket final of the Section 5 Little League Major Baseball tournament.

District 31 champ American is now off until 7 p.m. Tuesday when it will play the elimination bracket finalist. The elimination bracket final is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today and will have Archbald against the winner of Sunday night’s Nanticoke versus Dunmore game.

All games are at the Nanticoke Little League field.

“The kids have a good approach at the plate,” American manager Joe Phillips said. “At practices, they’re all doing the right things. When they come out and make a mistake at practice, we have a great coaching staff and we make small adjustments.

“We don’t change their swing a whole lot. We just make small adjustments.”

That’s about all that’s needed at this point. American has played 10 games in district and sectional tournaments and has scored 10 or more runs eight times.

Sunday’s offensive outburst gained traction in the second inning when Phillips launched a three-run homer to left with two outs for a 5-1 lead.

After District 32 champ Archbald pulled within 5-2 in the third, American pulled away in the fourth.

Phillips walked with one out and Jake Connolly followed by muscling an inside pitch over the right-field fence for a two-run homer. Will McCrum then singled and Justin Finarelli blasted a two-run homer for a 9-2 lead.

Phillips ended the home run barrage with a solo shot in the fifth.

Obscured a bit by the offense was the solid pitching of Michael Starbuck. The American lefty struck out 10 over a six-inning, 86-pitch performance. It was much needed where pitch counts could burn up a pitching staff pretty quickly.

“It’s a tough decision,” Joe Phillips said. “Whenever you get to a threshold — whether is 20, 35, 50 pitches whatever — coaches have a tough decision on reading the crystal ball and seeing what’s going to happen in the future. So far, we feel we’ve made all the right calls.”

Archbald made things interesting in its final at-bats. Chase Combs hit a two-run homer, his second of the game, to cut the American lead to 10-6 with one out in the sixth. Connolly, American’s reliever, fanned the last two batters to end the game.

While American needs one win to advance to the state tournament at Lower Perkiomen Little League, the remaining teams need three.

“They don’t have a choice. They have to come back,” Archbald manager George Black said. “They’re tough kids. They never consider themselves out. They’ll be fine, regroup and come back as a unit.”



South Wilkes-Barre 11, DPT 0

WILKES-BARRE — Ken Macko threw a no-hitter and struck out eight as South Wilkes-Barre defeated Duryea/Pittston Township in five innings Saturday to win the title.

Noah Edwards and Jared O’Day each were 2 for 2 with two RBI. South Wilkes-Barre opens Section 5 play on Wednesday, facing District 32 champion Lakeland at 5:30 p.m. at Christian Field in Wilkes-Barre.



Back Mountain 5, KFF 4

Matt Mathers pitched six innings for the win and Drew Patton picked up the save as Back Mountain topped Kingston/Forty Fort.

Patton also added two hits and a RBI. Nick Kocher had two hits. Mike Collins singled and knocked in a run. Mathers and Henry Selingo also each had a single, while Adam Borton added an RBI.

Draig Ruff had a double and two singles for KFF. Sam Sweitzer had two hits and Mike Lyons added a single.


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

Todd Phillips c`3`4`3`4`0`0`2

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

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

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

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

Michael Starbuck p`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Dylan Schuster lf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

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

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

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

Sam Nocito ph`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

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

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



Chris Combs ss`4`3`3`4`0`0`2

Dixon Black 2b`4`1`1`1`0`0`1

Jeremy Boyle p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Tony Carmadella 1b`1`0`1`0`0`0`0

Dylan Howanitz rf`2`0`1`1`0`0`0

Jake Sheridan 3b`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Ryan Turlip 1b`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Leahy O’Connor 3b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Duke Stafursky c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Ryan Cesarini cf`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zach Kovalchik ph`1`1`0`0`0`0`0

Nick Tomassoni lf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Joel DeCarli ph`0`1`0`0`0`0`0


Back Mtn. Amer.`230`410`0`-`10



Starbuck (W)`6.0`6`4`4`2`10



Boyle (L)`3.0`7`5`5`1`4




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