LNP champs

By on July 20, 2016

 

After slugging a three-run homer in the Warwick Phillies’ LNP title-clinching 12-0 win over SWS on Monday night, Chase Horst (red helmet) gets mobbed by his teammates, including (left to right) Chance Montgom¬ery, Kyle Zimmerman, Reagan Kline, Matt Seibert, and Matthew Williams. (Photo by Stan Hall)

After slugging a three-run homer in the Warwick Phillies’ LNP title-clinching 12-0 win over SWS on Monday night, Chase Horst (red helmet) gets mobbed by his teammates, including (left to right) Chance Montgomery, Kyle Zimmerman, Reagan Kline, Matt Seibert, and Matthew Williams. (Photo by Stan Hall)

For three and a half innings, the starting pitchers for the top-seeded Warwick Phillies and No. 2-seeded Strasburg-Willow Street stole the show.

The 0-0 stalemate reflected that.

But then with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Phils left-handed pitcher Matthew Seibert scratched out an infield single to deep short off of Cardinals’ lefty Braedon Karpathios. The next batter, first baseman Matthew Williams, didn’t miss on a high fastball, and his drive high into the night sky landed 20 yards beyond the flagpole, giving Warwick a 2-0 lead.

Seibert answered with a shutdown inning on the mound, striking out the side in the process.

SWS lefty Braedon Karpathios didn’t fare as well in the home half of the fifth inning. The Phillies banged out seven hits and 10 runs, the last three on a mercy rule three-run walk-off homer by center fielder Chase Horst, as Warwick claimed the Midget-Midget (12U) championship in the 71st annual LNP Tournament with a 12-0 shutout.

“(Karpathios) threw me a curve ball the pitch before so I didn’t think he’d come back with another one,” Williams said. “I thought I put a good swing on it, but I didn’t know it was going out.”

The Phillies’ hitting brought home the crown, out-hitting the Cards 13-2. Horst was 3-for-4 with four RBI’s and two runs scored, while shortstop David Woolley racked up three safeties, two runs and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. Seibert and right fielder Kyle Zimmerman had two hits apiece as seven Phillies collected hits on this night.

“The home run by Matthew Williams turned it around,” Seibert said. “We all contributed to the game and all of the games. It wasn’t just one player winning all of the games.”

The stat line for Seibert tells the story of his dominance on this night. He recorded nine strikeouts, while yielding only two walks (both in the first inning) and two hits on an economical 65 pitches over five shutout innings. Cards leadoff hitter and catcher Alex Knapp reached third base in the first inning after a walk. Only two other SWS runners made it to second base during the game.

“Our strategy was to go right at them,” Seibert noted. “I felt good.”

“(Seibert)’s a strong kid,” Phillies skipper Collin Cossette said. “We’ve been very intentional about limiting the number of pitches he threw all year. He’s thrown a lot for us in a lot of the big games.”

His last outing was the first 3 2/3 innings on Friday night against the same Cardinals in the first game of the championship final. Warwick won that game by a 14-5 score, a matchup that became necessary when SWS won last Tuesday’s winner’s bracket final by a 5-3 score when Karpathios outdueled Williams on the mound.

Asked if there was any doubt that Seibert would again toe the rubber in this winner-take-all matchup, Cossette said, “We weren’t concerned about it at all. I think his strength and his tenacity showed tonight on the mound and he was ready to go.”

These two teams went head-to-head all season in both the regular season and tournament play, making the case that they were the best two teams in the area. Warwick won six of eight meetings.

“First of all, they’re a really good team,” Cossette said. “We had the good fortune to play them eight times. It’s neat to compete against a group of kids that you have a relationship with. The hard part is that somebody has to lose this game, and that’s tough.”

The Phillies’ skipper also had kind words about mound opponent Karpathios.

“He’s got a great curveball,” Cossette said. “We talked about laying off those pitches until later in the count.”

That plan didn’t work against the Cardinal lefty in the first three innings, when he only expended 30 pitches.

“To say that, as coaches, we weren’t a little nervous would be inaccurate,” Cossette said. “We absolutely were, because he’s that good of a pitcher. We believe that we can hit any pitcher. Just being patient was a big part of it.”

Cossette was also pleased after the last run was scored.

“We didn’t jump around or dive on each other, because we thought it might be disrespectful to the other team,” he said. “I’m very proud of the class that they demonstrated on the field tonight.”

“The one thing we said at the beginning of the year in the clubhouse was we wanted to win the LNP Tournament,” added a jubilant Williams. “That was our goal for the year and it happened.”

Just like a home run off ‘Big Papi’s’ (Williams) bat.

*****

In other action last Friday, the Phillies forced a winner-take-all championship game on Monday by handing SWS their first LNP Tournament loss, winning 14-5 at Kunkle Field.

The Cardinals came back from a 7-0 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. But Matthew Williams’ two-run double to left-center highlighted the Phillies’ game-clinching rally in the seventh.

“Matty was due,” Warwick skipper Collin Cossette said. “He had struggled a couple of times in previous at-bats and I just knew it was only a matter of time. He’s one of our best hitters and that ball couldn’t have been hit any harder. It was fun to see him get our guys fired back up again.”

Lefty Matt Seibert got the decision, yielding just one hit through 3 2/3 innings with five K’s and one walk while throwing 49 pitches.

“Matt’s just a super kid, but this whole team is made up of super kids,” Cossette said. “Even though Seibert gets a lot of the accolades for hitting home runs and being one of our best pitchers, we’ve got 11 super kids on this team that I’m equally as proud of.”

An RBI double by Chase Horst (4-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBI’s) and sacrifice flies by Williams and Tate Landis gave the Phillies a 4-0 first-inning lead. Seibert (2-for-3, 3 runs) then slugged his 16th home run of the season, a three-run opposite-field blast to left, to make it 7-nil in the second.

David Woolley and Chance Montgomery each added two knocks in Warwick’s 13-hit attack, while Kyle Zimmerman was on base four times with three walks and a base hit.

Woolley came out of the ‘pen to close the door on SWS in the fourth. Then the Cardinals clawed back into it in the fifth, with Beau Heyser’s three-run homer sparking their uprising.

“SWS deserves a lot of credit,” Cossette said. “I mean, they didn’t lie down either. They’ve got some great players. And that’s just what makes this rivalry that we’ve built this year so much fun.”

In addition to Williams’ two-run double in the top of the seventh, Montgomery added an RBI base hit and Horst had a two-run single to left-center.

From there, Woolley and Horst combined to hold SWS scoreless in the bottom of the inning to seal it.

“That’s one thing about this group of kids is that they’re pretty tenacious, they believe in one another and they’re able to get it done,” Cossette said.

*****

Last Wednesday, Warwick advanced to the final round with a 5-3 victory over Manheim VFW.

In the third inning, Reagan Kline’s home run and Zimmerman’s two-out RBI double snapped a 3-3 tie, and then Brady Wiggins and Horst combined to shut out Manheim the rest of the way.

Wiggins scattered six hits in four innings, with four K’s and three walks, to earn the win.

The Phils took a 2-0 lead in the first on Seibert’s RBI ground out and Williams’ RBI double.

Brady Harbach walked and scored on Logan McGallicher’s RBI grounder in the second, getting Manheim on the board, and then Harbach slammed a game-tying two-run homer in the top of the third.

But the Phils answered by taking a lead they never relinquished.

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