South Williamsport defeats Muncy to win District 4 Class AA baseball title
South Williamsport noticed a bald eagle fly above its field the other day. A hawk soared over a day later and coach Casey Waller’s daughter found a four-leaf clover the next.
Obviously, there were some encouraging signs entering the district final. Maybe it was luck pushing South.
Nope. Forget the signs. South has scaled the rocky District 4 Class AA summit because it has an outstanding, hard-working team.
And that team is now the district’s best.
Makai Day and Landon Lorson combined on a three-hitter; Kaden Shay belted two hits and the defense played an error-less game as South defeated Muncy, 10-4 and captured the district championship Tuesday at Bowman Field. The Mounties (16-5) scored seven second-inning runs, built an 8-0 lead and earned their third title in four years.
“It’s awesome,” said Lorson who started for the 2019 district champions and who threw three scoreless innings Tuesday. As a freshman I was kind of that guy that rode along with the seniors and was kind of a guy that followed in their footsteps and what they did I did, so it feels good to be one of the leaders and help lead this team to a district championship. It’s great.”
South navigated a fiercely competitive AA field to win this championship. The Mounties entered as the No. 3 seed in this eight-team field which featured two 18-win squads. They have played their best baseball at the right time and vanquished Canton, Wake Forest-bound pitcher Blake Morningstar and Wyalusing and surging Muncy. Conquering that field gives this championship even more meaning.
South earned this one the hard way and held off a Muncy comeback after the Indians pulled within 8-4 in the fifth inning. This is a program which features a rich tradition and these Mounties are adding to it in impressive fashion.
“I want the guys to enjoy it. They’ve come a long way as a team. They’re genuinely pulling for each other from beginning to end,” South coach Casey Waller said after earning his fifth district championship at his third school. “We’re starting to play some really good baseball and guys are starting to understand their roles on the team. It’s nice to see them be rewarded, not just for the hard work, but them showing character and having integrity. I’m super proud of them.”
“During the offseason we were working really hard,” Shay said. “We got everyone together and started going hard and it’s paying off because we’re off to states.”
There, South will play the District 2 champion, either Riverside or Holy Cross, Monday at a District 2 site. The Mounties earned that opportunity by playing well in all facets and receiving steady contributions throughout the roster.
Every starter reached base against Muncy and seven players scored runs. Day opened the game with three perfect innings and struck out six while also going 2 for 3 with an RBI. Shay walked, stole second and scored on Day’s first inning RBI single as South quickly went up 1-0.
It was the second inning, however, where everything really changed. The Mounties hit and ran the bases well that inning and took advantage of any mistake Muncy made. Eight of the first 10 batters reached base that inning and the two outs recorded during that time were sacrifice flies by Alex Neidig and Kaiser Kistner.
Lorson provided the big blow with a two-run double to deep center field and Shay followed with an RBI single. The first five batters reached base that inning, three straight produced hits during that time and the first out was not recorded until Shay’s sacrifice fly made it, 5-0.
Supported by a large fan base which filled the first-base section, South took that energy, brought it to the field and put together one of its best innings this season.
“It felt like the energy and the hitting was contagious and everyone was feeding off that positive energy,” Lorson said. “Every single at-bat we were putting quality swings on quality pitches.”
“I feel like our energy being as high as it is helps a lot,” Shay said “Shout out to softball girls for coming here after just winning district championship (Monday). We had a better atmosphere than we’ve had in a while. That had the energy up all game.”
Muncy showed similar energy and came fighting back in the fourth inning. Bradyon Kamerer broke up Day’s no-hitter with a one-out single to load the bases before sophomore Kadyn Berry rocketed a three-run double into deep left field, making it 8-4.
The Indians could never pull closer, although they never backed down. It was a super season for this team which captured its first league title for the first time since 2011 and reached the district final for the first time since that season. Along the way, Muncy beat both of last year’s finalists during districts, edging Southern Columbia and shocking top-seeded Sayre. Freshman Cameron Kamerer showed why the future is bright as well, throwing five strong innings of relief.
South tacked on runs in the fourth and fifth inning before Ross Eyer ignited a sixth-inning rally with a single. Lorson, however, delivered again in a big spot and struck out the next two batters.
An inning later, Lorson struck out his fifth batter and clinched the championship. He took a few steps off the mound as happy teammates ran his way. The celebration was on from there as South dog piled and produced a moment it will never forget.
Muncy 000 400 0–4 3 3
South 170 110 x–10 6 0
Ross Eyer, Branson Eyer (2), Cameron Kamerer (3) and Braydon Kamerer. Makai Day, Landon Lorson (5) and Kayne Jones. W: Day, (7-2). L: R. Eyer, (7-3). S: Lorson.
Top Muncy hitters: Kadyn Berry 1-3, 2B, 3 RBIs; run. Eyer 1-3; B. Kamerer 1-2, BB. Top South hitters: Day 2-4, RBI; Kaden Shay 2-3, RBI, 3 runs, 2 SB; Lorson 1-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, run; Alex Neidig 1-3, RBI.
Records: South (16-5), Muncy (19-4).