Loyalsock slugs way to McCloskey title

The Loyalsock Major baseball team may be a fan of small ball, but it sure doesn’t play like it.

Loyalsock hit five home runs in the first two innings, leading to an 11-1 rout of Jersey Shore/GSV in the 11-12 Mac McCloskey tournament championship game at Carl E. Stotz field Wednesday night.

The five home runs added to the impressive home run total for Loyalsock in the tournament. The newly-crowned champions hit 26 home runs in four games.

Loyalsock wasted no time jumping out to a commanding lead. After a single and two walks to load the bases in the first inning, second baseman Hayden Watkins lifted a grand slam to right field to give Loyalsock a 4-0 lead. Catcher Zac Haefner followed with a solo bomb to left field to make it 5-0. After another walk and a single by Colin Graver, shortstop Connor Watkins stepped into the box and belted a three-run home run to center field to make it 8-0. Loyalsock had five hits and eight runs in the inning and every Loyalsock player reached base in the inning.

The second inning began with an Evan Nagy home run to make it 9-0. Haefner was hit by a pitch and Graver followed with a two-run home run that made it 11-0.

“I thought the kids came out ready to play today,” said Loyalsock manager Eric Nagy. “After they intentionally walked Evan (Nagy) in the first inning, Hayden Watkins came up with a big hit, a grand slam got us jump-started. After that our offense got rolling.”

It wasn’t just the offense that played well Wednesday night. Starting pitcher Anthony Pastore threw a complete game, going four innings, giving up one hit, one unearned run while striking out five, including Nate Ewing to end the game.

“Anthony Pastore did a great job of keeping their bats down tonight,” said manager Eric Nagy. “This was probably Pastore’s biggest game of his career and he showed up in a big way.”

Jersey Shore/GSV couldn’t stop Loyalsock’s offense until it was too late. The pitching staff gave up 11 runs and seven hits in the first two innings, but it settled down after that. After the third inning, Jersey Shore only gave up one hit. Logan Fisher started the third and was dominant the last two innings. He gave up one hit and had one strikeout. His go-to pitch was a curveball that had Loyalsock hitters confused.

The Jersey Shore offense had only one hit and three baserunners. Sean Anderson had his team’s only hit.

Loyalsock 11, JS/GSV 1

Loyalsock830 0-11 8 1

JS/GSV010 0-1 1 0

Anthony Pastore and Zach Haefner. Cody Coleman, Zak Kline (1st), Logan Fisher (3rd) and Aaron Best. W-Pastore. L-Coleman.

Top Loyalsock hitters: Connor Watkins 2-3, HR, 3 RBIs. Colin Graver 2-2, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs. Hayden Watkins grand slam; Evan Nagy solo HR, 2 runs. Zac Haefner solo HR, 2 runs. Top JS GSV hitter: Sean Anderson 1-2.