"Watch the curve!"
That's what the Keystone bench would say every time West End pitcher Andrew Malone would have them with two strikes. Malone threw that curve ball all night as he went on to throw a complete game behind a dominant offensive performance as West End beat Keystone 11-1 in six innings at Logue Field Tuesday night in the Ages 13-15 Babe Ruth baseball state semifinal game.
The championship is at 5 tonight vs. Broomall-Newtown, a 4-3 winner over Mifflin County in the other semifinal.
Keystone Hart Bottorf sprints past West End Jake Glavin to first base Tuesday at Logue Field. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
Malone went six innings allowing four hits with one run and striking out four. He didn't need much run support, but he got plenty.
West End was tied with Keystone at 1-1 heading into the fifth inning. But then West End exploded with nine hits and nine runs to make it 10-1.
The fifth started with shortstop Alec Fantaskey reaching on an error then an Evan Steele bunt single. Fantaskey scored on a passed ball to make it 2-1. First baseman Jake Glavin ripped a single up the middle to score Steele and make it 3-1.
West End 14s in state final
West End's Age 13 Baseball team advanced to the state championship game with a 3-1 victory over Broomall-Newtown Tuesday in Altoona. The championship is at 4 today vs. Mifflin County.
"I've been coaching for more than 20 years in this and this was the most complete team effort I've ever coached," said West End manager George Lepley. "Everyone was on the same page, and it was such an intense competition. I?got choked up talking to the team after the game."
The first out of the inning didn't come until Malone flied out. But then pinch-hitter Tre Ramos followed with a two-run single scoring Brandon Stokes and Caleb Schmucker that made it 6-1. Then fellow pinch-hitter Dayking Napoleon hit another RBI single to make it 7-1. The last run of the inning came on a Glavin RBI single to make it 10-1. It was Glavin's second RBI single in the inning.
The game ended on a Napoleon single, scoring winning pitcher Malone that made it 11-1.
The defense was great all night, too. West End turned its second triple play of the tournament in the fourth inning.
The game was tied at one and the bases were loaded for Keystone first baseman Evan McGregor. McGreagor ripped a line drive to third baseman Caleb Schmucker for the first out. Schmucker then stepped on the third base for out number two and he threw a bullet to first base for the third and final out.
Another highlight defensive play was done by center fielder Evan Steele who would gun down a runner between third and home that would keep the game tied at one.
The whole night was Keystone making good plays, but then West End following with great plays.
West End had a complete team effort from the defense to the offense to the bench. Reserves Tre Ramos and Dayking Napoleon would combine for three hits, two runs and four RBI, all of which came after the fourth inning.
Keystone played great up until the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Hart Bottorf was dominant up until the fifth, matching Malone pitch for pitch. Bottorf only allowed one run and four hits until the fifth, but he would give up nine hits and nine runs in the fifth.
Bottorf didn't get much help from his offense or defense. The defense had four errors and spotty outfield play and the offense only had one run and five hits.
West End 11 Keystone 1
Keystone000 100-1 4 4
West End100 091-11 13 3
Hart Bottorf, Josh King (6th) and Coltin Darby. Andrew Malone and Brandon Stokes. W-Malone. L-Bottorf.
Top Keystone hitters: Colton Darby 0-2, RBI. Hart Bottorf 0-1, run. Top West End hitters: Evan Steele 3-4, double, 2 RBIs, 2 runs. Jake Glavin 2-3, 2 RBIs, run. Dayking Napoleon 2-2, 2 RBIs, run.
Next game: West End vs. Broomall-Newtown, today at 5 pm in state championship game.
Broomall-Newtown 4 Mifflin County 3
Broomall000 130 0-4 5 1
Mifflin000 120 0-3 7 1
Cas Wolanin, Ricky Collins (5th) and Nate Earnest. Peyton Reesman, Alex Halkenberg (6th) and Jack Shevlin. W-Wolanin. L-Reesman.
Top Broomall hitters: 1-2, RBI, run. Cameron Mathes 1-2, RBI. Top Mifflin hitters: Tyler Powell, 2-3 HR.
Next game: Broomall-Newtown vs. West End, today at 5 pm in state championship game.