West Branch baseball upends Curwensville, 12-6|
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
CURWENSVILLE - Coming into Monday afternoon's Moshannon Valley League contest, the West Branch and Curwensville baseball teams each had just one game with 10 or more hits. Perhaps the two teams brought out the best in each other as each team had hits in double digits.
But it was the Warriors who came through with the timely hits, pounding out 15 on the day and taking advantage of four Curwensville errors in their 12-6 victory over the Tide.
"Today is one of the few times that we can say we brought our bats with us, and I hope it carries us through this week," said West Branch head coach Tyler Good. "I told the kids before the week that this is a big week for our Mo Valley League chances. That was step one right there."
"We're just getting beat in every phase of the game right now," said Tide head coach Denny Johns. "They came up with some timely hits. We had a couple errors that really opened the floodgates for them to score more. We're not getting the timely hits. We're just not a very good baseball team right now."
After sitting the Warriors down in order to open the game, Curwensville got on the board in the bottom half of the first off Warrior pitcher Nate Kerlin. Tanner Elensky walked to lead off the inning. Elensky stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Kyle Bloom groundout.
The Warriors took the lead in the top of the second inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Zach McGonigal ripped a single to left field to score Dakota Wick, who was a courtesy runner for Vince McDowell, and Kerlin.
West Branch went back to work in third inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Trey English and Kerlin each had RBI doubles in the inning, with the English blast nearly getting out of the park.
English was 3-for-3 on the day and drove in three runs to lead the Warriors.
"We've spent the last two and a half weeks with him," said Good. "He's got one of the nicest swings on the team right now. He's crushing the ball."
Curwensville scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning.
Elensky hit a fly ball with one out that was mishandled by the West Branch left fielder. Later in the inning, Elensky stole his second base of the game and came home when the Warrior catcher threw the ball into left field.
Brett Gardner reached on an error and Curt Bloom walked to start the bottom of the fourth for the Tide. After a double steal, Kyle Johns singled into right field to score Gardner and Bloom's pinch-runner, Noah Strickland.
Johns, the Curwensville starting pitcher, was pulled after four innings. He gave up 10 hits and four earned runs, while walking three and striking out six.
West Branch's knockout punch came in the top of the fifth inning when it scored five runs on three hits off Tide reliever Ricky Magnuson. J.P. Hayles, Chad Speigle and English each had RBI singles in the frame to give the Warriors a 10-4 lead.
"We let them hang around too long before that inning," said Good. "It was just a big inning, and that's happened for us a couple times this year. They hit the ball real well today."
"To their credit, they jumped back on us," said coach Johns. "You have to give West Branch credit for that. We got it down to one run and they came right back and got it back to six just like that."
Kerlin finished his outing after 4 1/3 innings. The junior hurler gave up just four hits and two earned runs and struck out seven Tide hitters. Ty Thomas pitched the rest of the way and gave up two earned runs on six hits to close out the game.
"The only thing I said (to the pitchers) all game is to get a curveball across the plate every once in a while," said Good. "They both threw really well. They were complaining about the mound, but I told them to pitch with what they have. We don't have the best mound in the world, and they're never going to see the best mound in the world."
"Kerlin threw the ball well," said coach Johns. "He mixed his pitches well, but we just have to have better at-bats. I thought we were a little more patient today, but we're still just not putting enough pressure on the other team, and we've been doing that all year. I'm just not sure what it's going to take to turn that around."
The Warriors scored two more runs in the top of the sixth inning on two hits and two errors to give them a 12-4 lead.
Curwensville scored a run each in the sixth and seventh innings.
Curt Bloom scored on a Kyle Bloom single past the third baseman in the sixth inning, while Alex Olson scored on a pinch-hit groundout by Jake Terry in the seventh inning.
The Warriors committed five errors in the game, despite making two sliding catches in the sixth inning.
"That has not been our M.O. all year," said Good. "It was just one of those games where we came to outslug somebody. You can't have five errors in a game like this."
West Branch improved to 4-8 overall and 2-1 in the Moshannon Valley League and entertains Juniata Valley today. Curwensville (2-9 overall, 0-1 in the MVL) visits Moshannon Valley tomorrow.
Sanker cf 3111, Hayles 2b 4122, Speigle ss-3b 4212, English 1b 3133, Guenot ph 1000, McDowell c 3110, Lannen ph 1000, N. Kerlin p-rf 3321, Martin ph 1000, Myers lf 4221, Zwick dh 3120, Williams rf 0000, Thomas p 0000, McGonigal 3b 3012, Wick ph 1000, Trude ss 0000. Totals: 34-12-15-12.
Elensky ss 3200, K. Bloom c 4012, Russell cf 2000, Magnuson p 2010, J.B. Stiles 3b 2020, Olson 3b 1110, J. Bloom 1b 2000, A. Bloom ph 1000, Baughman 1b 1000, Gardner 2b 3100, Terry 2b 1001, C. Bloom rf 3120, Strickland pr 0100, Coudriet lf 2000, Lansberry lf 2010, Johns p-cf 4022. Totals: 33-6-10-5.
Score by Innings
West Branch 023 052 0-12 15 5
Curwensville 101 201 1-6 10 4
Errors-McDowell 2, Myers, English, N. Kerlin; Johns, Elensky, Lansberry, J.B. Stiles. LOB-West Branch 9, Curwensville 9. DP-West Branch 1. 2B-English, N. Kerlin. SAC-Zwick. SF-Hayles. SB-English, Myers; Elensky 2, Russell, Gardner, Strickland, Johns. CS-Hayles (by K. Bloom).
West Branch: N. Kerlin-4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO; Thomas-2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Curwensville: Johns-4 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO; Magnuson-3 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO.
WP-N. Kerlin (2-1). LP-Johns (1-2).