The Backyard Brawl presents this tradition-laden baseball area with one of its annual marquee events and that means there are way too many outstanding moments to include in just one game story.
That being the case, the following is a game-by-game look back at the 2012 Backyard Brawl. It was a fantastic day, featuring four entertaining and hard-fought games between four proud programs. All four teams are capable of making postsesaon noise and gaining experience playing in Saturday's atmosphere can only help them moving forward.
Loyalsock pitcher Kyle Datres earned a win and a save as the Lancers won the Backyard Brawl championship on Saturday at Bowman Field.
South Williamsport 3
Player of the Game: Zack Clark, Loyalsock
It's a tough call here, but Clark edges out Luke Glavin (3 for 3) and Kyle Datres (great relief pitching and defense). The junior threw 5 1/3 strong innings, striking out eight and also went 2 for 4 with a first-inning, RBI triple. His triple gave Loyalsock the early spark it needed as it eventually built a 4-1 lead.
Play of the Game: Caleb Catherine, South Williamsport
The senior center field made a magnificent running catch in deep center field to start the seventh inning. Jimmy Webb, maybe the area's fastest runner, drove it deep and likely would have had at least a triple if Catherine did not make the hustling catch.
Key moment: Datres' pickoff to end the sixth inning
South had runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth, trailing by one run. Datres had run a full count on Alex Carpenter before turning toward second and catching the South runner leaning. Datres then sprinted after him and made an unassisted putout before ending the game an inning later by starting a double play.
Montoursville 6, Williamsport 4
Player of the Game:
Alec Rothrock, Montoursville
Pierce Ranck went 3 for 4 and had three RBIs while Andrew Null went 4 for 4 with an RBI. Still, I have to go with Rothrock because he was brilliant in the toughest of spots twice. The sophomore reliever stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning while preserving a 4-2 lead. He did so against the heart of Williamsport's order. Williamsport loaded the bases in the seventh inning and was down 6-3 with no outs, but Rothrock again stared down the heart of Williamsport's offense and pitched Montoursville into the final.
Play of the Game: Rothrock catching Jeremy Rall's bunt
Rothrock started working out of trouble in the fifth when Rall attempted a no-out, bases-loaded squeeze. Rothrock gave him a tough pitch to bunt, throwing it high, and then caught the pop-up. The air seemed to come out of Williamsport after that and Rothrock retired the next two hitters on pop-ups.
Montoursville trailed 1-0 in the top of the fifth and had struggled with runners on base. Ranck then delivered a clutch two-run double that put it ahead to stay, 2-1. The Warriors fed off that hit and delivered timely hits the rest of the way, finishing with 12 while avenging last year's Brawl championship loss to the Millionaires.
South Williamsport 4
Player of the Game: Sadiq Burkholder, Williamsport
The junior left-hander threw an outstanding complete-game six-hitter and allowed only two earned runs. He struck out five and consistently stranded baserunners in throwing his first varsity complete game.
"We were down for a little while there losing five games and to get a big win over a good team was something we needed," Burkholder said. "I felt good out there and I just wanted to keep throwing strikes because I knew my defense was behind me."
Play of the Game:
The junior second baseman robbed Neil Salvatori of a fifth-inning single when he dove into the hole between first and second and stopped a hard-hit grounder. Missigman fully extended himself, quickly rose to his feet and made a snap throw to first to beat Salvatori by a step.
Key moment: Williamsport's
Hostrander and Sam Bubb hit consecutive two-out singles that brought home three runs and gave Williamsport a commanding 5-0 lead early.
Loyalsock 3, Montoursville 1
Player of the Game: Kyle Datres
In addition to throwing five innings without allowing an earned run and striking out nine, Datres also went 2 for 2 and scored two runs on top of stealing two bases.
Play of the Game:?Dalton Young gives
up his body
Young is one of the district's best first basemen and the Montoursville senior showed why once again in the fifth inning. Young raced into no-man's land on the grass between first, second and the mound to field a slow Wes LaPoint roller. It looked like LaPoint would get an infield single, but Young sprinted back, then dove head-first while risking his body against the charging LaPoint to beat him by a step.
Datres working out of first-inning trouble
Null put Montoursville ahead 1-0 with a one-out, RBI single and the Warriors had second and third with one out. Instead of Montoursville possibly breaking the game open early, Datres recorded a strikeout and induced an inning-ending groundout to second. The Warriors never seriously threatened again and did not score again.
Backyard Brawl All-Star Team
C-Andrew Null, Montoursville (5-8, 2B, 2 RBIs); IF-Pierce Ranck, Montoursville (4-7, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 SBs); IF-Zack Clark, Loyalsock (3-7, 3B, 2 RBIs); IF-Ryan Hostrander, Williamsport (3-7, 2B, 4 RBIs); OF-Zach Pepperman, Montoursville (3-5); OF-Jimmy Webb, Loyalsock (.714 obp, 2B, R); OF-Caleb Catherine, South (.750 obp, RBI, 3 R); DH-Ryan Orgitano (2-5, 2 RBI, 2 BBs); SP-Kyle Datres, Loyalsock (1-0, 1 SV, 0 ERs, 11 Ks, 9 2/3 IP); SP-Sadiq Burkholder, Williamsport (1-0, CG, 7 IP, 2 ERs, 5 Ks); RP-Teigan Herlehy, Montoursville (0-0, 7 IP, 3 H, 3 Ks ... threw three scoreless innings in morning JV game also).
Backyard Brawl MVP: Kyle Datres, Loyalsock
Datres was outstanding on the mound, going 1-0 with a save and allowing no earned runs in 7 2/3 innings while striking out 11. He also was a tough out at the plate, going 3 for 6, scoring three times and stealing two bases.
Dr. Masse's Top 5
1. Jersey Shore (14-2-1)
The Bulldogs are HAC-I champions for the fifth time in six years after thumping Milton, 10-4, and avenging their only league loss. It's been an impressive run for a strong program that seems to keep getting better each year. When the offense is producing like it did last week (23 runs in two wins), Jersey Shore looks like a team that can make an extended postseason run since its pitching has been so strong.
2. Loyalsock (16-2)
The Lancers bounced back from a 9-7 loss to Hughesville in a big way, capturing the Backyard Brawl championship for the first time. The defense has to play better, making 10 errors in the last three games, but the young Lancers suddenly are in line for District 4 Class AA's top seed. Right fielder Jimmy Webb saved a potential run against Montoursville, making a running catch and then a strong throw home to keep a runner at third with one out. Webb is a huge asset on the bases since he has blazing speed and can take an extra base in situations where most other players could not.
3. Montoursville (10-6)
The Warriors won five straight before losing to Loyalsock and are playoff-bound. Infielder Pierce Ranck had a good tournament, collecting four hits in two games but, unfortunately, injured his ankle sliding into third late against the Lancers. Ranck already is nursing a sore arm and coach Travis Wurster is hoping he can get back in the lineup soon, especially with playoffs starting next week. Sophomore left-hander Teigan Herlehy dazzled in his first extended varsity action, allowing only three hits in seven innings against Loyalsock. That he is No. 5 on the pitching depth chart shows one how deep the Warriors' pitching staff is. With Herlehy, Null and Rockrock all being sophomores, it also shows how bright the future might be.
4. Williamsport (9-6)
The Millionaires showed some nice resiliency, downing South, 7-4 after losing a tough one to Montoursville moments before. Williamsport has some quality pitching and can rely on different pitchers in big games. If the offense finds its groove in the next two weeks Williamsport has a chance to defend its District 2-4 Class AAAA championship.
5. South Williamsport (15-3)
The Mounties have hit some adversity for the time, dropping three in a row following a 15-0 start. That might not be a bad thing, though, since great teams often have to overcome some kind of adversity to get where they want to go. Caleb Catherine is emerging as a solid pitcher and threw five brilliant innings against Williamsport.
Player of the Week
Dylan Prough, Wellsboro
It's hard to do much better than Prough did last week. Not only did Prough go 7 for 7, but he also delivered three triples and drove in eight runs.
Game of the Week
Milton at Williamsport
The Millionaires are trying to build momentum for districts as they defend their championship and have a nice chance to do so Tuesday at Logue Field. The Black Panthers (12-4) are a serious district title contender and have nearly every starter back from last year's team. Milton has quality pitching depth and can hit the ball well so this presents the Millionaires yet another strong challenge.
Masse may be reached at email@example.com.