COGAN?STATION - Alec Dickey knew from experience what sliding into third meant.
It meant, since Dickey is fortunate enough to be playing for the same coach he had throughout the regular season, he would attempt to steal home if the right chance presented itself. And as Montoursville's pitcher took a slow trot back to the mount after a called strike, Dickey saw his chance and broke for home.
The quick play, which caught Montousville sleeping, was part of a six-run surge through the first inning, giving Hepburn Lycoming a cushion it held.
Hepburn added three runs in the fourth when Dickey connected with a 3-run homer, helping it advance past Montousville with a 9-1 win in the second round of the District 12 Major Boys Tournament.
Hepburn advances to a Tuesday contest against East Lycoming, a 5-3 winner over Old Lycoming. Montoursville awaits the winner of today's Nippenose/Jersey Shore GSV game at Maynard Field.
"Coach said if it got to the second strike to go and I just kept rolling," Dickey said. "The catcher was just lopping it back to the pitcher."
"That was the plan coming into the game," Hepburn Lycoming coach Jamie Chestnut said. "He's one of our regular season players. He knows we like to be aggressive on the base path. We were hoping we could do it."
And that was just the start to Dickey's day.
Beside making a diving slide into home in the first, Dickey, who's brother Cameron went 3 for 4 with three singles, made a difficult over-the-shoulder catch to end the third inning and homered in the fourth to give Hepburn a 9-1 lead.
"They were very focused. The pitching was excellent. The fielding was excellent," Chestnut said. "I thought we could have had more runs, we left a lot on the bases today."
Hepburn scored runs in bunches, posting six in the first inning and getting three in the fourth from Dickey's bomb over the centerfield fence.
The runs, especially the six in the first, gave starting pitcher Isaac Snyder a nice cushion in case of any trouble. It also gave him a lot of room to mix pitches and let the defense clean up any hit balls.
Snyder, despite getting only eight first-pitch strikes against 22 batters, faced only one batter over the limit through the third, fourth and fifth innings. He also posted five of his eight strikeouts over that span.
"We have good pitching and good defense," Dickey said. "It really gives us a boost."
Owen Keiss, one of four Hepburn players with multiple hits, opened the contest with a single, which was followed by one of Cameron Dickey's three singles. Caleb Joy then was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Bryce Ranck, who homered in Montoursville's 10-1 win over Brandon on Friday, appeared to regain some control, getting a quick strikeout before walking the game's first run in. Ranck was able to make a nice stop on a hard hit grounder up the middle for the force out at home, but hit another batter before two singles and a walk gave Hepburn a 6-0, first-inning lead.
After hitting four home runs and scoring seven runs in the sixth inning of its opening round contest, Montoursville struggled to scratch out a single run.
Joshua Dinges reached on a four-pitch walk after Snyder opened the second with a strikeout. Dinges then stole second, later scoring when Alec Dickey elected to go to first for the innings second out.
Montoursville 010 000-1 2 1
Hepburn Lycoming 603 00X-9 11 1
Bryce Ranck, Ryan Kessler (2) and Nolan Ott. Isaac Snyder, Owen Keiss (6) and Wyatt Chestnut. WP-Snyder. LP-Ranck.
Top Montoursville hitters: Ranck 1-2; Dinges run. Top Hepburn Lycoming hitters: Cameron Dickey 3-4; Snyder 2-3, 2B, run; Alec Dickey 1-3, HR, 3 RBIs.