Williamsport stays alive in Major Baseball bracket

In a game that totaled 27 runs, one would think there would be a lot of big hits thrown in with some small ball and savvy base running. Not the case in this game.

South Williamsport had more errors than hits and Williamsport overcame its own sloppy play in the field to win 19-8 and advance to play Keystone today for the right to play Montoursville in the District 12 Major Baseball championship game.

“Uncharacteristic,” said South coach Steve Persun of the sloppiness “In our run after we lost to East Lycoming, we played two really solid games against Loyalsock and Newberry to get to tonight and a little uncharacteristic.

“I made some moves that put some kids in different positions to kind of counter, knowing that they had a good hitting team. I tried to move some things around and it kinda backfired on me a little bit. But we’re down low here in pitching so I tried to save my solid guy for the end and get through those first couple of innings and that is the way it goes.”

South couldn’t make it to the end as the game ended in four innings due to mistakes as it had 10 errors and couldn’t get to a couple of fly balls that should have been caught.

But Williamsport put the pressure on early as it came out swinging. Solomon Grant led off the game with a first-pitch home run. Williamsport added another run in the inning on Brock Moyer’s RBI single and he later scored on error to make it 3-0.

The two teams combined for 16 runs, eight hits and six errors in the second inning.

Williamsport scored nine in the top half, Grant had an RBI single and an RBI double in the inning, Ethan Williams had an RBI triple and Drake Mankey added an RBI single to make it 12-1. South countered with seven runs on a two-run double by Chris Klem and back-to-back home runs by Ian Bolay and Ryan Rishcoff. Bolay’s home run was a three-run shot.

South didn’t score over the last two innings due to the great pitching by Jonathan Zayas and Nick McQuillen. Zayas struck out three and didn’t allow a hit in 1 1/3 innings of work and McQuillen pitched a scoreless fourth to end the game.

Williamsport scored seven runs in the final two innings on five hits and four South errors. McQuillen had an RBI single and an RBI triple in the final two innings and Matt Beard came off the bench for an RBI double.

“It’s a really good confidence builder for these guys,” Williamsport coach Lori Mankey said. “They fought their way back from the bottom all the way back up to the top and they’re ready to put up a fight for the next game.”

South’s season ended but Persun still believed this tournament was a success for his squad.

“The big positive is that these kids made it farther than any South team in quite a few years,” Persun said. “They’re a great group of kids to be around. It was a joy to coach them and I’m proud of them.”

Williamsport 393 4- 19 13 3

South 170 0- 8 5 10

Alex Gerou, Ethan Williams (2nd), Jonathan Zayas (2nd), Nick McQuillen (4th) and Drake Mankey. Kyler Alexander, Austin Nash (2nd), Gannon Guerrisky (4th) and Chris Klem. W- Gerou. L- Alexander.

Top Williamsport hitters: Solomon Grant 3-4 HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Brock Moyer 2-4 RBI, 2 R, Ethan Williams 1-2 3B, BB, RBI, 2 R; Michael Engel 0-2 2 BB, 3 R; Nick McQuillen 2-3 3B, 2 RBI, R. Top South hitters: Chris Klem 2-3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Ian Bolay 1-3 3-run HR; Ryan Rishcoff 1-2 solo HR.

Next: Williamsport vs. Keystone at Hepburn, 6 tonight