Won on the 4th of July

As Montoursville’s Mason Sechrist rounded third and headed home, after he his second home run of the game, his teammates were there waiting to mob him.

Sechrist wasn’t too high. because he had been here before and so had Montoursville. He led another impressive offensive showing by Montoursville, and Logan Ott held a dangerous Keystone team down as Montoursville beat Keystone 13-3 in the District 12 Major Baseball championship Friday afternoon at Volunteer Stadium. Montoursville advanced to the Section 3 tournament where it will play the District 13 champion at home next Saturday.

“Mason has been doing absolutely wonderful,” said Montoursville coach Lee Ranck. “When it comes to big moments, he really steps up. Last year we had a little run and he did the same thing. When we need Mason, he seems like he’s always there.”

Sechrist led a Montoursville offense that has scored at least 11 runs in all four games of the tournament. Sechrist went 3 for 3 with a two-run home run, a solo home run and a single. The No. 5 hitter had a lot of help, though, as Jaxon Dalena and Cameron Wood each had two doubles, Ott hit a solo home run and Hunter Shearer added a two-run double.

The offense produced in a big way, but it was the play of Ott at the mound that led Montoursville to district gold.

“Logan is a tremendous player,” said Ranck. “Logan comes in, throws strike and that’s the big thing. He’s 11 years old but he plays likes he’s older. He throws strikes, he hits the ball, just a really good all-around player with a great attitude.”

Ott entered in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs. And after a wild pitch, he retired the final three batters on a foul out and two straight strikeouts. Ott pitched out of jams all game as he left the bases loaded twice and stranded 11 Keystone batters. Ott threw 87 pitches for 4 2/3 innings, allowed just one run and struck out five.

Ranck’s message to his team is to battle. Montoursville was in many two-out and two-strike holes, but that didn’t stop it from producing. All four runs in the first inning were scored with two outs. Shearer got the first run home with an RBI single and Sechrist followed with a two-run home run. After Dylan Moll was walked, CJ Signor hit a double to score Moll and take a 4-0 lead.

After Keystone scored two runs on wild pitches in the bottom half of the first inning, Montoursville added four more runs in the second. Woods’ RBI double scored Dalena after he got on base with his second double. Shearer’s two-run double made it 7-2.

Ott and Sechrist each had a solo home run in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Each came with two strikes and each was a bomb that traveled at least 265 feet, clearing the fence outside of the field.

“We’ve been hitting the ball,” said Ranck. “We preach patience at the plate. We try to work the pitchers… We really preach good at-bats, trying to get good pitches to hit.”

Keystone struggled against a powerful Montoursville team and couldn’t string together hits as it stranded 12 runners. All three of its runs were scored on wild pitches or passed balls.

“That’s the game right there,” said Keystone coach Kreg Stark of the stranded runners. “We knew runs were going to be very important. Montoursville is a very solid team, you can expect them to make a big run at this. We just didn’t come up with the clutch hits.”

Montoursville 442 12- 13 13 2

Keystone 210 00- 3 8 0

CJ Signor, Logan Ott (1st), Cameron Wood (5th) and Cole Ranck, Ediel Rodriguez (4th). Rocco Stark, Ross Glossner (2nd), Zane Probst (5th) and Tom Pringle. W- Ott. L- Stark.

Top Montoursville hitters: Jaxon Dalena 2-4 2 2B, 3 R; Logan Ott 2-4 solo HR, 2 R; Hunter Shearer 2-3 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R; Mason Sechrist 3-3 2 HR, 4 RBI; Cameron Wood 2-4 2 2B, RBI, 2 R.

Top Keystone hitters: Rocco Stark 2-3 2 R; Jake Sweitzer 2-3 R; Zane Probst 1-3 2B; Landyn Carson 2-2.

Records: Montoursville (4-0); Keystone (3-2) Next: Montoursville vs. District 13 Champion at Montoursville (July 12 at 2)