JERSEY SHORE - Maybe it was the hot weather, but whatever the reason, the meeting between Jersey Shore Post 36 and Montoursville Post 104 in American Legion Senior Division baseball Saturday morning lacked the crispness the game might have normally generated.
Regardless, Shore generated enough offense to complete an outstanding 17-3 regular season with a 4-1 win over Post 104.
"They played well throughout the season," said Post 36 manager Todd Rishel. "Even though it wasn't real pretty today, it was good to get the win. We only had nine (players) so it made it a little easier to coach since we didn't have to worry about who we were going to substitute."
Once again Shore was treated to some outstanding pitching by Travis Eiswerth, as the righthander was in complete control.
In his complete-game effort, Eiswerth scattered four hits and one run, striking out eight and walking none. In addition, Eiswerth also showed his ability as a hitter by finishing a perfect 3-for-3 while scoring one of the four Shore runs.
"Travis pitched well," said Rishel. "He was able to throw strikes and was in complete control the whole way. And at the plate, he was perfect at 3-for-3 and you can't do any better than that."
Shore gradually built up a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first, second and third innings, and it could have been a whole lot more as they left the bases loaded in all 3 innings.
"In all of my years of coaching and being around baseball, I don't think I ever saw that happen before," said Rishel. "We just didn't capitalize when we had runners in scoring position. I was concerned for a while in that we were letting them hang around, but fortunately we were able to put together a couple of decent innings to get some runs across."
In the first inning, Christian Rishel beat out an infield single to short and scored when Montoursville pitcher Alec Rothrock promptly hit three Shore batters in a row, Zach DePasqua picking up the RBI as the third man to get plunked.
In the second inning, Cody Bradley singled to center, advanced to second on Eiswerth's first single, moved up one notch on a Rothrock wild pitch and scampered home on a sacrifice fly to center by Colton Potter.
Included in the 17-3 overall record was a 13-3 effort in league outings. Of their 17 wins, eight were shutouts and five more were contests where Post 36 only allowed their opponent a single run.
With the conclusion of the regular season, that means that the district playoffs loom on the horizon, that is, if Shore can field enough players to compete in that event.
"We are trying to work things out with the numbers to see if we are going to have enough players committed to make a run for it," said Rishel. "The junior team has its playoffs at the same time and that makes it a little thin for us."
Post 104 000 100 0 - 1 4 2
Post 36 111 010 X - 4 7 1
M: Alec Rothrock, Quinton Persun (3), Zach Pepperman (6) and Andrew Null, Nick Christ (5). JS: Travis Eiswerth and Christian Rishel. WP: Eiswerth. LP: Rothrock. 2B: Matt Shea (M). 3B: Andrew Null (M). SF: Colton Potter (JS) 2.