South defeats Jersey Shore, forces rematch today
On the very first pitch he saw in the sixth inning, Cade Lusk laid down a perfect bunt down the first-base line. It rolled about halfway down before Jersey Shore pitcher Louden Spotts grabbed it and got the out at first.
But the bunt did what it was intended to do, bringing it Judah Butler to break open the tie game and put South Williamsport ahead for the first time.
That’s when Kaden Paulhamus was standing on third and saw Jersey Shore’s catcher still down the first base line and no one near home. Paulhamus took off and managed to beat the catcher back to home for another run.
Just like that, South Williamsport took a two-run lead over Jersey Shore and shifted the momentum.
South Williamsport added two more runs before the inning was over and left Newberry a 6-4 win over Jersey Shore in the minor baseball District 12 championship game on Saturday.
The win forces a rematch today at Montoursville at 2 p.m. in a winner-take-all contest.
“One of our goals coming into the game was to put the ball in play and put the pressure on them to make the plays,” South Williamsport coach Chris Lusk said. “Our kids executed well and we got a couple runs out of it.”
“It was all mental. That’s not coachable,” Jersey Shore coach Harry Kelley said of the little things adding up Saturday. “We beat ourselves in that baseball game. We’ll come back tomorrow and look to put the bat on the ball. You’re not going to win a game as bad as we hit a baseball.”
Both teams did a well-enough job of not allowing each other to get the big hits or timely hits when needed. Combined, the two teams allowed 12 hits, but only one was an extra-base hit.
That’s a credit to South Williamsport pitcher Chance Quimby and Jersey Shore pitcher Hayden Kelley not allowing much.
South Williamsport, however, took advantage of a handful of mistakes and walks in the sixth inning to go ahead and secure the win. Jersey Shore walked four batters and committed one error in that sixth inning that led to the four South Williamsport runs.
“Too many walks,” Harry Kelley said. “We couldn’t pitch the ball when we needed to pitch the ball there.”
“At this level, any time you can force the other team to make a mistake, it usually pays off for you,” Lusk said. “We haven’t been having the big hits so far. The kids are capable of it, it just hasn’t been there yet.”
Jersey Shore’s pitching staff of Kelley and Spotts limited South’s hitting however, only allowing South Williamsport to record two hits in an inning once and forcing South Williamsport to go 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
“They did good putting ball across the plate,” Harry Kelley said.
Jersey Shore took advantage of three walks in the first inning to load the bases before Quimby came in relief and struck out Grayson Confair to end the threat. After a three up, three down second inning, Jersey Shore broke the scoreless game up with two runs on a huge double by Zeke Secrist into left field that brought in Carter Rhinehart and Hayden Kelley, who both reached on consecutive singles.
Quimby ended with six strikeouts through his 4 2/3 innings of work.
“Chance Quimby did a heck of a job coming in that situation,” Lusk said.
South Williamsport scored its first run in the top of the fourth inning thanks to Lincoln Miller reaching on a single into shallow right before he was eventually walked in with bases loaded. In the fifth inning, it was Garrett Lorson who scored after being walked to make it a 2-2 game.
Jersey Shore kept battling until its final out while facing a four-run deficit.
Spotts, who reached on an error, advanced to third thanks to two passed balls and was driving in by Rhinehart’s RBI single into shallow right-center. Conner Winters then scored on a pickoff attempt at second base when Rhinehart stole second to cut the deficit to two runs. A strikeout though the next batter with a full count would end Jersey Shore’s rally bid and force the if game today.
It will be the third time this postseason the two teams meet. Jersey Shore beat South Williamsport in the winners’ bracket final, 5-4, on June 30 and South Williamsport won Saturday.
“They’re going to battle. They’re going to be fundamentally sound. Their middle infield is excellent,” Lusk said. “We got to show up and put the ball in play and make things happen.”
For Harry Kelley, he knows Jersey Shore has to string together hits in order to beat South Williamsport and win a district title.
“We have to put some hits together and hope we can string some hits together. I’m not sure we put two hits together in awhile,” Kelley said. “When you’re scraping to get runs, it’s hard to win a close baseball game.”
South Williamsport 6,
Jersey Shore/GSV 4
(DISTRICT 12 MINOR BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP)
South 000 114 — 6 6 1
JS/GSV 002 002 — 4 6 1
Cade Lusk, Chance Quimby (1), Lincoln Miller (6) and Garrett Lorson. Hayden Kelley, Louden Spotts (5) and Conner Winters. W–Quimby. L–Kelley.
Top South Williamsport hitters: Cade Lusk 2-4; Lincoln Miller 1-3, BB, 2 runs; Chance Quimby 1-3, BB, RBI; Kasim Davenport 1-3, BB; Judah Butler 1-2, run. Top Jersey Shore/GSV hitters: Carter Rhinehart 2-2, 2 BB, 2 SB, run; Hayden Kelley 1-4, run; Jake Secrist, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs; Grayson Confair 1-3; Louden Spotts 1-3, run.
Next game: Jersey Shore/GSV vs. South Williamsport at Montoursville, today, 2 p.m.