E-Town Black earned the No. 1 seed in the Lancaster County Youth Baseball 14-U Section 2 playoffs on the strength of their pitching staff. They had given up 63 runs in 18 regular season games, or 3.5 per game, before a calamitous first inning.
The SWS Phillies visited Gerber Field at Governor Stable Park and put up nine runs in the first inning en route to a 17-9 victory over E-Town Black on Monday, July 10.
E-Town earned the No. 1 seed courtesy of a 14-3-1 regular season while SWS went 10-8.
The nine-run first inning saw SWS send 14 batters to the plate with eight runs scoring before the second out was recorded.
The E-Town starter was unable to finish the inning and Justin Black was called upon to get the final out.
“SWS just came out and pounded the ball. They just had their A-game today. They hit a couple that we couldn’t get to and when they had guys on base they had guys that would hit them in. They didn’t leave anyone on base,” coach Andy Breault said.
After having the game postponed due to rain on both Thursday, July 6, and Friday, July 7, the winning team was schedule to play on Tuesday, July 11, with the championship on Wednesday, July 12. If either of these two teams won the championship, they would have to win three games in as many days. With pitch counts in effect, Breault said that was not an issue that he was trying to manage around.
“We were playing for one game at a time. I thought about maybe taking him out, but he was pretty dominant all year. He shut a lot of good teams down,” Breault said.
E-Town responded well in their half of the first initially. The top two in the order scored and Alex Williams, batting third, was on third base with nobody out. The 4-5-6 batters in the lineup were unable to score him and prolong the inning which left the score 9-2, SWS, after one inning.
SWS added one more in the second before E-Town rallied with three of their own on a two-RBI double from Williams.
The third and fourth frames saw each team put up four runs. Williams drove in two more on a a single.
The third E-Town pitcher of the game did not fare much better than the first two. Three more SWS runners rounded the bases in the fifth inning to make it 17-9.
Playing both shortstop and center field, Tanner Breault saved several runs with his defensive play. In the third inning, while playing shortstop, he made a Jeter-esque jump throw across the diamond for the out. In the fourth inning, playing center field, he caught a line drive before firing to home to nail the runner at the plate for an outfield assist.
In what ultimately ended up being their final two innings of the season, E-Town received only one hit from Williams and no runs.
Mitchell Garber (1-2, 2 BB, 3 runs, SB), Tanner Breault (2-3, BB, 2 RBI, 3 runs) and Williams (3-4, 4 RBI, R) provided much of E-Town offensive output.
Coach Breault was impressed with the group of kids that he coached for the 2017 season.
“They came to every practice and worked hard. They all got along. I hate to see a season end like this after how well they played all year,” Breault said.
“The way they picked each other up really stands out. We weren’t always winning games. There were a few games where it was tight, but they stuck together and pulled it out in the end. The way they stuck together really impressed me.”