LEGION BASEBALL: Shamokin-Mount Carmel opens playoffs with victory
NORTHUMBERLAND - Shamokin-Mount Carmel's Legion team is playing good baseball at the right time.
The Stripes and Strikes rallied for five runs in the sixth inning and rode good pitching by Austin Fry to upset third-seeded Sunbury-Norry, 7-4, in the first round of the Susquehanna Valley American Legion playoffs Tuesday at Pineknotter Park.
Shamokin-Mount Carmel (9-8), the No. 6 seed, will play Danville (11-5), a team it has already beaten twice, tonight in the second round at Danville. It was the first time Shamokin-Mount Carmel beat Sunbury-Norry in several seasons, according to the coaches.
"The key tonight was Austin keeping us in the game until we got our bats going," said Shamokin-Mount Carmel coach Shawn Kalinoski.
Fry scattered six hits, struck out five and walked four, and came up with big outs, including a pair of double plays.
"My location was good tonight," Fry said, "I was hitting the corners. That's definitely a big thing when you're playing with wooden bats. If you hit the corners and they hit the ball at the end of the bat, it's usually a weak grounder. With aluminum bats, sometimes those balls get through."
Sunbury-Norry, which will play Selinsgrove in an elimination game, took a lead by playing small ball early.
Jack Snyder singled, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice by Brandon Zoch. Shamokin-Mount Carmel tied the game on a run-scoring single be Steve Bressi, which came after Zach Tocyloski led off the third with a double.
Sunbury-Norry scored two more runs in the fourth. Tyler Leib doubled in Snyder, who reached base on a fielder's choice, and Zoch singled Leib home.
Jordan Garringer walked to lead Sunbury-Norry's fifth, and scored on a double error after stealing second base.
But Shamokin-Mount Carmel's offense finally came around in the sixth against losing pitcher Kyle Leitzel. With one out, Paul Gurba singled and Theo Deptula was safe on a fielder's choice. Fry doubled in Gurba and Brody Young followed with a two-run single, tying the score. Later in the inning, Tocyloski hit another shot. Center fielder Garringer reached the ball and had it in his glove, but dropped it for a two-run error, giving Shamokin-Mount Carmel the lead.
Fry hit another run-scoring double, driving in Gurba, who reached base on an error, for an insurance run i in the seventh.
"We have been playing well," Kalinoski said. "We started the season kind of slow but (with our pitching rotation) we think we can these games now."
SHAM-MC (AB-R-H-BI) - Gurba 3-2-1-0, Deptula 3-1-0-0, Fry 4-1-2-2, Young 4-0-1-2, Bettleyon 0-0-0, Thompson 4-1-1-0, 3-0-0-0, Tocyloski 3-1-1-0, Miller 3-0-0-0, Bressi 2-0-1-1, Lesko 1-0-0-0. Totals 30-7-7-5.
SUN-NORRY (AB-R-H-BI) - Hall 3-0-1-0, Lahr 3-0-0-0, Dunn 0-0-0-0, Bettleyon 3-0-0-0, Leitzel 0-0-0-0, Snyder 3-2-1-0, Leib 2-0-1-1, Zoch 2-0-1-1, Garinger 2-1-1-0, Kashuba 1-0-1-0, Snyder 3-0-0-0. Totals 22-3-6-2.
Extra-base hits: 2B - Tocyloski, Fry 2; Leib.
IP H R ER BB K
Fry (W) 7 6 4 3 4 5
K. Leitzel (L) 6.1 6 7 6 3 4
Hare .2 1 0 0 0 0