Hepburn-Lycoming's Owen Kiess stood on the mound with a lot of confidence at Brandon Park on Wednesday night and he held a similar stare in the batter's box.
Kiess struck out 14 East Lycoming hitters and went 2 for 3 with a triple and home run to lead Hepburn-Lycoming to a 4-1 win over East Lycoming in a Major Baseball semifinal.
"It feels pretty good," Kiess said. "Coach just told me to go in there and do my stuff."
Loyalsock defeated defending champion Keystone 10-3 in the other semifinal and will face Hepburn-Lycoming at 6 p.m. on Friday at Montgomery.
Kiess was on his way to pitching a complete game before his effort was halted by the 85-pitch count rule. Kiess finished with 87 pitches.
Kiess was moved to the leadoff spot against East Lycoming and he scored a pair of runs.
"The original plan was for me to hit third because of my power, but coach wanted me to start leading off because of my speed," Kiess said.
Isaac Snyder matched Kiess with two hits and also hit a home run. Snyder, who finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs, hit a two-run home run during a three-run third inning that gave Hepburn-Lycoming a 4-0 lead.
"We just gotta continue to keep our heads in the game," Snyder said.
Hepburn-Lycoming scored a run in the first inning and then delivered the most damage in the third inning.
East Lycoming's lone run came after a walk to Daulton Myers was followed with two errors by the catcher and right fielder.
"Give him (Kiess) all the credit in the world, he was bringing it," said East Lycoming manager Kevin Balliet. "He kept our hitters off balance and was throwing heat and our kids just couldn't catch up to it."
Kiess managed to keep East Lycoming confused and showed a lot of velocity with his fastball. He recorded three strikeouts in four of the five innings he pitched.
"We knew he could throw hard, and he had a very nice mix and once he settled in he did a very good job," Hepburn-Lycoming manager Jamie Chestnut said.
Hepburn Lycoming 103 000 - 4 5 3
East Lycoming 001 000 - 1 2 3
Conner Kepner, Noah Green (4), and Jared Snyder. Owen Kiess, Caleb Joy (6), and Wyatt Chestnut.
Top East Lycoming hitters: Conner Kepner 2B. Top Hepburn- Lycoming hitters: Owen Kiess 2-3 3B, HR, 2 runs. Issac Snyder 2-3 HR, 3 RBIs.