A big start
Some days, some people have all the luck and everything thing just seems to go that persons way.
On Thursday, that person was West End coach George Lepley. He won over $1,000 in cash in a raffle and his team just completed a dominant win in the 14-year old Middle Atlantic Regional tournament. That last one didn’t involve so much luck as it did strong pitching, coaching and lively bats.
After having no hits and three errors through the first inning and a half, West End exploded for 13 hits and 13 runs over the next two innings en route to a 13-1 win over Mt. Olive, N.J. Thursday evening at Logue Field. It was West End’s first game after having its originally scheduled Game 1 rained out Wednesday night. West End plays its second game tonight at 7 against Levittown.
“It was a great day,” Lepley said while holding his granddaughter. “It was a scoreless game into the bottom of the second inning and then we got two (runs). But then, obvioulsy we erupted for 10, 11 hits the next inning.”
West End scored 11 runs on those 11 hits and had 15 plate appearances in the inning, five extra-base hits and nine runs were scored after the first out and two more after the second out. After Cam Pardoe flied out in foul territory, Cody Shimp and Hunter Webb followed with back-to-back doubles to score the innings first run.
After Webb scored on an error, Ethan Stryker hit the third double of the inning and Tanner Esposito followed with an RBI single. Another West End double, hit by Owen Kiess scored two more to make it 7-0. After three straight singles by Ryan Jolin, Isaac Snyder and Caleb Joy, the game was 11-0 and nearly out of reach.
After the second out, Shimp, with his second hit of the inning, knocked in two more runs and Webb, with his second extra base hit of the inning, this time a triple, added one more run.
The game wasn’t all smooth sailing for West End, as in the first inning the offense went down in order and the defense made three errors in the first and second innings. If it wasn’t for Snyder stranding two runners in scoring position with one out in the second, the game’s momentum would have been totally different.
“We were just a little tight,” said Lepley. “We were looking forward to playing last night and the game got rained out. I think we played about 16 games and we have yet to not have a huge inning where we erupt for five, six, seven runs. Now that’s the biggest inning we’ve had. I think what happened was, they kind of feed off each other. One guy gets a hit and the next guy feels like, you know, okay I’m going to get a hit and I’m gonna do my part.”
The West End lineup was deep and powerful as nine players had a hit, four players had at least two RBIs and nine players had at least one run.
“Most teams can’t bat 10 guys because you’re lucky if you have five or six guys who can hit,” said Lepley. “We got 12, 13, 14 guys that can hit or produce defensively.”
The offensive showing was a big help for West End to get players some rest for the upcoming part of its schedule where it plays three games in two days. Snyder pitched just three innings and threw around 50 pitches and saving ones pitching is big in this tournament.
“It was a game we really had to win and you don’t want to start off 0-1 with this kind of competition,” Lepley added.
West End and Mt. Olive was the third matchup of the day as in the first game of the day, Levittown defeated Frederick, Md. 16-6. Levittown had a similar offensive explosion to West End as it scored nine runs in the second inning and 12 in the first three. Gary Minnes, Nate Erhard and Shane Nelson had two hits apiece.
In the second game of Day 2, Rotterdam, N.Y. stayed undefeated with its 4-2 win over Piedmont, Del. This game featured two strong left-handed pitchers who only allowed nine hits combined. Piedmont earned the early 1-0 lead in the second, but Rotterdam scored four unanswered runs. Rotterdam was led by Ryan Starr who had a double and two RBIs. Brandon Kruzinski got the win for Rotterdam, throwing five innings and allowing only one run.
West End 13, Mt. Olive 1
Mt. Olive 000 01- 1 6 3
West End 02(11) 0x- 13 14 5
Michael Buzzelli, Zach Fike (3rd) and Jack Galandra. Isaac Snyder, Mike Flowers (4th) and Ryan Jolin, Nate Welch (4th). W- Snyder (1-0). L- Buzzelli.
Top Mt. Olive hitters: Michael Buzzelli 3-3 SB; Alex Tucker 1-3 2B, R. Top West End hitters: Cody Shimp 2-3 2B, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R; Hunter Webb 2-3 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Ethan Stryker 2-3 2B, R; Owen Kiess 3-3 2 2B, SB, 2 RBI, R; Ryan Jolin 2-2 2B, 3 RBI, R.
Records: West End (1-0); Mt. Olive (1-1). Next: West End vs. Levittown, Pa. (Today at 7); Mt. Olive vs.Paulino, N.Y. (Today at 1)
Levittown 16, Frederick, Md. 6
Frederick 203 100- 6 5 6
Levittown 291 03x- 16 15 3
Zach Heffner, Zach Willet (3rd), Brenden Johnson (5th) and Daniel Summers. Zach DeMarchis, Noah Andress (5th) and Nate Erhard.
Top Frederick hitters: Kevin Schwenger 1-2 R; Dan Summers 0-2 RBI, R. Top Levittown hitters: Gary Minnes 2-4 2 SB, RBI, 3 R; Nate Erhard 2-4 2B, RBI, 2 R; Shane Nelson 2-3 3B, 2 SB, RBI, 3 R.
Records: Levittown (1-1); Frederick (0-1)
Next: Levittown vs. West End (Tonight at 7); Frederick vs. Mt. Olive (Sat. at 11)
Rotterdam, N.Y. 4, Piedmont, Del. 2
Rotterdam 000 210 1- 4 4 2
Piedmont 010 000 1- 2 5 2
Brandon Kruzinski, Ryan Lanaro (6th) and Brandon Smith. Bryce Carey, Daniel Berg (6th), and Matt Poma.
Top Rotterdam hitters: Ryan Starr 1-3 2B, 2 RBI; Ryan Lanaro 1-2 SB, 2 R; Brandon Kruzinski 1-4 RBI. Top Piedmont hitters: David DeStefeano 1-2 2B, R; Nick Pisorchik 1-2 BB, SB, R.
Records: Rotterdam (2-0); Piedmont (0-1) Next: Rotterdam vs. Altoona (Today at 4); Piedmont vs. North Syracuse, N.Y. (Today at 10)