LEGION BASEBALL: Line Mountain drops playoff decision
BERWICK - Parity was the buzzword around the Susquehanna Valley American Legion League this season.
No. 8 seed Line Mountain was very nearly the definition of that Tuesday, but it came up short in a 1-0 loss to No. 1 Berwick.
Line Mountain had its chances, including a bases-loaded opportunity in the fourth inning, and stranded three other runners in the game.
"We had them right where we wanted them, but we couldn't get that key hit, unfortunately," Line Mountain manager Sam Strause said. "Like I told the guys, there's nothing to be ashamed about losing to the top seed."
Line Mountain will play at Bloomsburg, a 4-3 loser to West Snyder, today.
Line Mountain's Danny Adams started the game with a single and Line Mountain had six total base knocks for the game, but had only one inning when it had two - the fourth.
Prior to the inning, with Line
Mountain playing evenly with Berwick, Strause called an impromptu team meeting outside the dugout.
The gist of what he told his team was to take control right then.
And Line Mountain responded.
Brady Renn shot a single down the third base line but thought better of trying to stretch it into a double with one out already on the board. Erik Smeltz then drew a walk, before Berwick second baseman Kevin Laubach stretched to take a hit away from Wade Wetzel for the second out. J.P. Lenker followed that with a single up the middle to load the bases.
Then starting pitcher Austin Snyder, with a chance to help his own cause, struck out to end the inning.
"That was a missed opportunity right there, but we certainly had our chances afterward," Strause said. "We had a lot of outs to play with after that, but we didn't quite get the job done."
Berwick used that momentum in its half of the inning to grab the lead.
Snyder walked Jake Jones, who moved up to second on a wild pitch. Jones then scored on a single by Kyle Miller that rolled to the 378-feet sign in right-center field.
Snyder worked through the rest of the inning, stranding two runners and keeping Line Mountain close.
"(Austin) kept us right in it, and then Masser came in and kept it right where it was," Strause said. "We had (Austin) set up to win the game, but unfortunately we couldn't push one across."
LINE MOUNTAIN (AB-R-H-BI) - Adams 3-0-1-0, Masser 3-0-1-0, Howerter 3-0-0-0, Renn 3-0-2-0, Smeltz 2-0-0-0, Wetzel 3-0-0-0, Lenker 3-0-2-0, Snyder 3-0-0-0, Michael 2-0-0-0. Totals 25-0-6-0.
BERWICK (AB-R-H-BI) - Melito 2-0-0-0, May 3-0-2-0, Lashock 3-0-0-0, Jones 2-1-0-0, Favata 1-0-0-0, Miller 3-0-1-1, Curtin 3-0-2-0, DeNoia 3-0-1-0, Laubach 2-0-0-0. Totals 22-1-6-1.
Extra-base hits: None.
IP H R ER BB K
Snyder (L) 5 5 1 1 3 2
Masser 1 1 0 0 1 0
DeNoia (W) 7 6 0 0 1 5