West End and Broomall-Newtown were locked in a pitchers' duel for four innings on Wednesday night at Logue Field when it ended in a blink of an eye.
The teams combined for just five hits and no runs through four innings before West End scored four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth and went on to win the Babe Ruth 13-15-year-old state championship 4-0 over Broomall-Newtown at Logue Field.
West End advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Atlantic City, N.J.
West End players celebrate on Wednesday at Logue Field after defeating Broomall-Newtown, 4-0, to win the Babe Ruth 13-15-year-old division state championship. Below left, a West End players shows off his medal. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
West End starting pitcher Caleb Schmucker went seven innings, allowing six hits and no runs while striking out two. It was Schmucker's second shutout of the tournament.
"He pitched a tremendous game," said West End manager Tom Marnon. "He hasn't given up a run in two tournament games."
Broomall-Newtown starter Scott Hahn went pitch-for-pitch with Schmucker. Hahn went four innings, allowing two hits and one run while striking out two. When Hahn was removed from the mound, West End's offense came to life. Reliever Ricky Collings entered the game in the fifth and gave up three hits and four runs in the inning.
The deciding inning began with a leadoff walk to Tre Ramos and another walk to pinch-hitter Nate Krizan. Derrick Fisher followed with an RBI single for the game's first run. A Jake Glavin single made it 2-0 West End and a two-run single by Brandon Stokes extended the lead to 4-0.
West End's defense remained solid again in the championship game. It made many highlight plays. Reserve second baseman Dayking Napoleon made an incredible diving stop in the sixth. Resereve shortstop Nate Krizan made an amazing over-the-shoulder catch in shallow left field immediately after Napoleon's diving stop. But the best defensive play of the night was done by center fielder Evan Steele. Broomall-Newtown was threatening in the seventh with two runners on and two outs. Scott Hahndrove a ball to the gap that could have possibly scored two runs and cut the West End lead in half, but Steele stretched out for the ball and made the game-ending catch.
West End was playing in its second consecutive state championship game after losing to Bensalem last year.
"I can't recall a team any where, not only West End, but any where that was so dominant in the tournament," Marnon said. "We outscored our opponents 52-4. We've played six games and gave up four runs."
Broomall-Newtown almost stopped that dominance. The pitching was great the majority of the night and the pitching was backed up by a good defense. It was just the offense that couldn't consistently string hits together. Broomall-Newtwon never had a runner get to third base.
West End plays its first Mid-Atlantic Regional game on Aug. 1 at 1 p.m.
BN000 000 0-0 6 2
West End000 040-4 5 3
Scott Hahn, Ricky Collings (5th) and Jack Shevelin. Caleb Schmucker and Brandon Stokes. W-Schmucker (2-0). L-Hahn.
Top BN hitters: Mike Rutecki 3-3, 3 singles. Scott Hahn 1-4. Top West End hitters: Brandon Stokes 2-2, 2 RBIs. Derrick Fisher 1-2, RBI, run. Jake Glavin 1-3, RBI.
Records: West End 6-0. BN 3-3.
Next game: West End moves on to Mid-Atlantic Regional in Atlantic City, Aug.1