Moshannon Valley baseball topples rival Glendale, 14-3, in five innings|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
AMESVILLE - Through its first five games, runs came at a premium for the Moshannon Valley baseball team's hitters. But since last Friday, the Black Knights seemed to have flipped a switch as everyone from the leadoff hitter to the No. 9 hitter has found a way to produce.
After scoring 13 runs against West Branch on Friday, the Black Knights banged out 12 hits on Tuesday afternoon in a 14-3 victory over Glendale. Mo Valley's 27 runs in their past two games have more than doubled the total runs in the team's first five games.
"It all starts at practice," said Mo Valley head coach Justin Fye. "You have to take good swings at batting practice and it will carry over to the game.
"We struck out seven times in the first three innings. When we came in for the fourth inning, we said ‘No more striking out.' We had to start putting the bat on the ball and when we started doing that, we hit very well. Hopefully it will carry over and have some confidence with them. It was nice to see the offense."
With Tyler Potutschnig on third base in the top of the first inning, Glendale's Justin Kephart hit a single to center field to score the Vikings' first run of the game off Mo Valley pitcher Luther Harlow.
Harlow gave up a pair of hits in the first inning, but only two more the rest of the contest. The junior gave up two earned runs and struck out seven Viking batters, walking only one.
"After that first inning, he was getting ahead and that's what we talked about," said Fye. "We've said it before and we talk about it as a team. When you throw strikes, good things happen. When you do that, your defense stays in the game. The defense played pretty well behind him.
"We also talked about when you're out there on the mound, you have to pitch with an attitude. Towards the last couple innings, he was pitching with an attitude, which was nice to see."
The Black Knights took the lead in the bottom of the first and never trailed again.
Kent Stewart started things off with a double down the left field line and moved up to third base on a Harlow single. Sam Ohler drove in Stewart on a base hit to tie the game.
Two batters later, designated hitter Cody Marshall slapped his first of three singles on the day. Harlow scored on the play to give the Black Knights the lead.
Caleb St. Louis hit a groundball to third base two pitches later that looked to get Glendale out of the frame, but an errant throw allowed Ohler to come home from second base. Glendale starter Potutschnig earned a strikeout to end the inning on the next batter.
"We've been a team that's been steadily improving from the first game of the season up until sometime last week," said Vikings head coach Joe Klezek. "Since last week, I don't know what happened. We can't get away from errors. It's tough to win a baseball game when you end up having to get more than 21 outs."
After a scoreless second inning, Glendale's Anthony Barnhart led off the third by reaching second base on an error by the Black Knight left fielder. Harlow earned a strikeout and a groundout, but the Vikings Craig Hewitt blooped a single into left field for Glendale's second run of the game.
Harlow led off the bottom of the third with a single and advanced to second on a wild pickoff attempt. After stealing third base, Harlow scampered home on a wild pitch to make the score 4-2.
Glendale earned its final run in the top of the fourth inning on an Alex Iraca solo homer. Iraca ripped an 0-1 pitch to left field that nipped the top of the fence and went over.
"On that swing, he got his hands back a little earlier than he normally does and he put a pretty good swing on it," said Klezek. "He's starting to get it. He's starting to click a little bit, and we're going to need him for the rest of the way."
Mo Valley scored 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on six hits.
The Black Knights earned two-RBI singles from Stewart, Marshall, Jim McHugh and Eric Sherkel in the inning. Sherkel also ripped a double early in the inning to start the Black Knight rally.
Marshall ended the day going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Stewart was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs.
"Cody came through in the clutch today," said Fye. He's been hitting pretty well for us all year. Every once in a while, he'll chase a pitch, but then he'll focus on his zone. In a close game, he came up with a big hit. He's been doing a good job."
"When Kent can take a good approach at the plate, he's one of our better hitters. He's a big, strong kid. If he gets a hold of the ball, it's going to go far."
"I can't complain about our hitters tonight other than striking out a few times. They did a good job of putting the ball in play."
Harlow set the Vikings down in order in the top of the fifth to secure the 10-run rule victory.
Mo Valley improved to 2-5 overall, 2-1 in the Moshannon Valley League and 1-5 in the Inter-County Conference. The Knights host Bellwood-Antis tomorrow. Glendale (2-8 overall, 2-1 in the MVL and 1-6 in the ICC) visits Juniata Valley today.
M. Kimberly c 2000, Potutschnig p-ss 3110, Hewitt ss-2b 3011, Kephart 3b 3011, Iraca cf 2111, Schultz 1b 2000, Sinclair 2b-p 2000, Shope rf 2000, Barnhart lf 1100. Totals: 20-3-4-3.
Sherkel ss 4222, Stewart 3b 3222, Harlow p 2320, Ohler c 4111, Demko 1b 2100, Marshall dh 3132, Vanish rf 0000, St. Louis lf 2100, Ohs cf 2101, McHugh 2b 3222. Totals: 25-14-12-10.
Score by Innings
Glendale 101 10-3 4 3
Mo Valley 301 (10)x-14 12 3
Errors-Kephart, Potutschnig, M. Kimberly; St. Louis, Sherkel, Harlow. LOB-Glendale 4, Moshannon Valley 5. 2B-Sherkel, Stewart. HR-Iraca (solo, 4th inning). SAC-Barnhart. SB-Stewart, Harlow 3, McHugh. CS-M. Kimberly (by Ohler). HBP-Stewart (by Sinclair).
Glendale: Potutschnig-3 2/3 IP, 11 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO; Sinclair-1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.
Moshannon Valley: Harlow-5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO.
WP-Harlow (1-2). LP-Potutschnig (1-2).