Phillies ousted from LNP with loss to the Streaks

By on July 18, 2018
Tyler Marley connects on a base hit for the Warwick Phillies during last week’s LNP Midget-Midget Tournament. Lititz Record file photo

Tyler Marley connects on a base hit for the Warwick Phillies during last week’s LNP Midget-Midget Tournament. Lititz Record file photo

As Warwick Phillies skipper Matt Burr can vouch, Manheim Township’s Trey Eckman is one of the top pitchers in the league when he’s on his game.

Last Wednesday night was a case in point.

The Streaks’ starter struck out nine in four innings of work, in addition to helping his own cause at the plate by going 3-for-3 with two home runs and seven RBIs, leading Manheim Township to a 17-4 five-inning win over the Phillies in an LNP Midget-Midget Tournament elimination game at Mt. Joy’s Kunkle Field.

With the loss, No. 2-seeded Warwick ended its season with a 23-11-2 record. Fourth-seeded Township (18-8), meanwhile, advanced to the championship round against Mountville.

“We just happened to run into a buzzsaw,” Burr said.

Ben Connors was 4-for-4 with four RBIs and Owen Marks chipped in with a 3-for-4 night at the plate to help power a Manheim Township attack which out-hit the Phillies 18-6.

“To be honest, we pitched well,” Burr said. “It wasn’t like we didn’t throw strikes or we walked the world. They just hit the ball. They hit, we didn’t and we played a clean defensive game. It’s not like we gave them their runs. They earned their runs.”

Runs were bountiful last Tuesday, July 10 for both Warwick and top-seeded Mountville, but the Indians rallied from an 11-7 deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on to win 12-11 in the winner’s bracket semi-finals.

“Tuesday night’s loss was a tough loss because I felt like we beat ourselves,” Burr said. “Even though Mountville played well, I felt like we made too many mistakes to be able to win that game.”

The Phillies didn’t have a long time to recover, but Burr was pleased to see them mentally ready to go less than 24 hours later against the Streaks.

“(Tuesday’s loss) was tough to swallow. It’s an exciting atmosphere to be at Kunkle Field in those environments,” Burr remarked, “and in the same term, it’s 10:40 at night and you’re going, ‘You’ve got to have short-term memory and regroup quick.’ And they did that. To the credit of our kids, they showed up in good spirits.”

That was evident when the Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Trevor Evans singled and scored on Ethan Zipko’s (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) two-out base knock. Those were two of just three hits allowed by Eckman.

Meanwhile, Warwick starter Cody Lutz started the game with back-to-back shutout frames, but the Streaks broke through for three runs in the third. Marks and Connors each had RBI singles and Eckman added an RBI double.

Manheim Township tacked on six more runs in the fourth to go up 9-1, highlighted by Eckman’s two-run blast to left-center, and then the Streaks’ five-hole hitter launched a grand slam in MT’s eight-run fifth-inning rally, helping them push the lead to 17-1.

Zipko and Daniel Artale stepped up with RBI hits for the Phillies in a three-run rally off of Township reliever Leed in the bottom of the fifth inning, but it wasn’t enough.

“Even while the lead kept separating more and more, the kids still battled,” Burr said. “They didn’t give up. They still were in it because they know their potential to score in bunches was there. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to answer back as (Manheim Township) was producing.”

Still, Burr will look back with fond memories from his time coaching this year’s Phillies’ squad.

“This has been a pleasure to coach these kids,” he said. “They have worked extremely hard all season. We shared with the kids that sometimes you’re going to have things that don’t go your way in life and everything in sports is transferable to life. So with that, it was a learning experience. It was a very successful season. We got quality numbers from the pitching standpoint and from the offensive standpoint. As a coach, when you break all those statistics down, you can’t be more pleased with how they produced. It’s just that end result wasn’t what our goals were and you have to move on.”

***

Last Tuesday, July 10, Ethan Zipko was 4-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Phillies’ offense in their tough 12-11 loss to Mountville at Kunkle Field.

Cody Lutz and Sawyer Martin each went 2-for-3 and Lutz scored three runs in the attack.

Warwick battled back from a 4-2 first-inning deficit to grab an 11-8 with a four-run outburst in the top of the fifth. The Indians, however, countered with a four-spot of their own in the bottom that inning and then retired the Phillies in order in the sixth inning to put their win in the books.

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