Manheim VFW advances to 10U championship

By on June 30, 2015

 

Cardinals shortstop Chase Martin (11) steps on second and releases a throw to first base to complete a sparkling first inning double play against the Manheim VFW last Thursday night in Denver. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Cardinals shortstop Chase Martin (11) steps on second and releases a throw to first base to complete a sparkling first inning double play against the Manheim VFW last Thursday night in Denver. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Manheim VFW rode a 13-hit attack and dominant pitching to a 10-2 win over the Warwick Cardinals in the winner’s bracket final of the Lancaster County Youth Baseball League 10U double elimination playoff tournament Thursday night at Manetas Park in Denver.A light rain throughout most of the game didn’t bother Manheim (14-2 regular season), as it scored five runs on five hits in the bottom of the second inning, breaking open a scoreless tie.

Warwick (7-9) had just come off a 2-1 upset of top-seed Ephrata (14-2) two days before.

VFW was led by the one-two pitching punch of left-hander Jared Murray, who struck out six while walking three and surrendering two hits and two runs over the first three innings, the league limit. He was relieved in the fourth by righty Brady Harbach, who closed out the win over the last three innings, striking out two and only giving up one hit and one walk in shutting out the Cards.

“We got a great performance today from Murray and Harbach,” Manheim head coach Eric McGallicher said. “They focused on the glove and didn’t get rattled. That, and the defense was solid.”

Nine different players had hits for Manheim and seven drove in runs in a total team effort on offense. Leading the way was Murray (3 hits, 2 runs, RBI), leadoff hitter Kye Watson (2 hits, run), Blake Zimmerman (2 hits, RBI) Harbach (1 hit, 2 runs), Andy Pelletier (1 hit, 2 RBI’s) Cayde Connelly (1 hit, run, 2 RBI’s) Landon McGallicher (1 hit, run, RBI) and his brother Logan (1 hit, 2 runs, RBI).

“To have production up and down the lineup is huge,” McGallicher said. “This team has hit all year. There’s not a kid on this team that can’t hit.”

Not as evident on the scoreboard was the quality defense shown by both teams and by two young boys in particular. VFW third baseman Zimmerman made a major league stop down the line off the bat of Warwick starting pitcher Carter Horst, holding him to an infield single. Zimmerman followed with a charging scoop and throw to nip Josh Zimmerman at first.

Cardinal shortstop Chase Martin converted a double play virtually by himself in the first inning, fielding a hard ground ball up the middle, tagging second base, and slinging a strike to first to complete the twin killing. Martin also drove in Warwick’s only two runs with a booming triple to left in the top of the third.

When asked after the game whether he prefers hitting or fielding, Martin replied, “I like defense better. You get more plays and it wins games.”

In regards to facing a hard-throwing pitcher in Murray, Martin said, “The faster it comes in, the faster it goes out.”

“He’s always been a solid defensive player,” Cardinal head coach Matt Burr said of Martin. “He has a lot of game experience as a third-year player. He’s quiet, but lets his play speak for itself. He leads by example.”

The Manheim VFW will be back at Manetas Field tonight (Wednesday) and the opponent may again be Warwick, which played last night (Tuesday) after deadline.

The two clubs have now played four times, with each claiming two wins.

With an unblemished record, Manheim only needs one win to claim the U10 tournament title.

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