Phils hammer Mountville to stay alive in LNP Tournament

By on July 8, 2015

 

After getting the Warwick Phillies on the scoreboard with a two-run single in the first inning, clean-up hitter Cam Hess advances to second base on the throw to the plate. Solanco’s Seth Harnish tries for a quick tag on the return throw to second base. (Photo by Mike Shull)

After getting the Warwick Phillies on the scoreboard with a two-run single in the first inning, clean-up hitter Cam Hess advances to second base on the throw to the plate. Solanco’s Seth Harnish tries for a quick tag on the return throw to second base. (Photo by Mike Shull)

What a difference one day made for the Warwick Phillies.

After managing just four hits against Solanco White in an LNP Midget-Midget Tournament game on Monday night, the No. 2-seeded Philllies needed just five batters to equal that total against top-seed Mountville on Tuesday.

Warwick ended up grabbing an 8-0 lead after one inning and never looked back, pounding out 12 hits in a 17-0 four-inning drubbing in an elimination game at Kunkle Field in Mount Joy.

Evan Rohrbach (2-for-2, 2 walks, four RBI’s) slugged a pair of home runs and leadoff batter Matt Seibert was 3-for-3 with a three-run blast to lead the Phillies’ attack.

“The kids really knew that last night wasn’t their best stuff,” Warwick coach Todd Shertzer said. “We had a little indoor batting practice before the game tonight, and it was amazing the focus the kids had. They were driving the ball. I’ll be honest &tstr; there’s seven kids on this team coming back next year and the LNP Tournament is a pretty big stage and there were a lot of nerves last night. I think that one game, getting those nerves out of the way … they’re ready to go now.”

The win sent the Phils (43-5) onto play Solanco, a 12-3 loser to Manheim Township, in an elimination game last night (Wednesday) after deadline.

“The kids absolutely knew that (it was win or go home),” Shertzer said. “I told them at the beginning of the night, ‘It’s a knockout game, our backs are to the wall. Just come out swinging.’”

Swing they did, early and often.

Facing Mountville starter Atkinson, Seibert singled and scored on Zach Shertzer’s (2-for-3, BB) RBI double. The next batter, Rohrbach, then launched a monster shot over the left field fence for a 3-0 lead.

“Evan is a kid that when he’s locked in and focused and uses his lower half and swings his hands, he can really drive the ball,” Shertzer said. “He’s a strong kid. His big thing is just stay focused. Mountville’s a great program. We have such good respect for each other. Bob (Sauder) and I have had a lot of contests together over the last three years.”

One out later, Matt Williams singled, Chase Horst (1-for-1, 3 walks) doubled to right, Reagan Kline walked, Trevor Bollinger had an RBI single to right, Tate Landis dropped a squeeze bunt, and Seibert slugged a three-run homer to left to make it 8-0.

That was plenty for the Phillies’ pitchers. Rohrbach started and combined with Cam Hess and Williams to retire Mountville’s first 11 batters in order, with six K’s. Constein broke up the perfecto with a two-out single to center in the bottom of the fourth inning.

By then, however, the outcome was decided.

Indians’ pitchers issued 10 walks in the game, five in the second inning when Warwick extended its lead to 13-0. Seibert and Shertzer added RBI singles in the third, and Rohrbach’s leadoff blast to right-center in the fourth completed the scoring.

In Monday’s action, trailing by three runs against third-seeded Solanco White, the Phillies mounted a two-out rally in their final at-bats and had the potential tying run at second base.

Ultimately, however, reliever Kyle Stively &tstr; the fourth pitcher used by Solanco &tstr; ended the game with a strikeout, leaving the bases loaded and nailing down a 7-5 victory for his team at Kunkle Field.

“At the end of the game there, we told the guys, ‘This is all we have left, so you’ve got to string something together,’” Phillies skipper Todd Shertzer said. “We came up a little short.”

It was the first time in three meeting this season that Solanco beat Warwick. Prior to Monday, the Phillies had outscored them by a combined 16-1.

“They knew that we had an offensive lineup,” Shertzer said. “We talked about whether we go (on the mound) with Evan (Rohrbach) tonight or we go with Matty (Seibert), and we had all the confidence in the world in Matt Seibert. He did a great job. He hit his spots. They just hit him.”

Solanco, in fact, set the tone with a four-run outburst in the top of the first. Garrett Worthington (2-for-4, 2 runs) led off with a first-pitch single to right-center, Zedekiah Baker (3-for-4, 2 runs) legged out an infield base hit, Michael May (2-for-4, 2 runs) stroked an RBI double to the left field corner, and cleanup batter Seth Harnish (2-for-4, 3 RBI’s) slugged a three-run blast over the fence in right.

“Give Solanco a lot of credit,” Shertzer said. “They came out swinging the bats tonight. Great top of the first inning. They came out and laser-showed us. That’s what the difference was.”

Solanco’s top four hitters were a combined 9-for-16 and Baker also recorded the win after throwing 65 pitches in three innings. He yielded three runs on two hits, with six K’s and three walks.

Warwick reached him for two of those runs in the home half of the first. With one out, Zach Shertzer and Rohrbach worked back-to-back free passes from the Solanco righty. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored when Cam Hess laced a 1-1 pitch for a two-run single.

They closed the gap to 4-3 in the second. Leading off, Reagan Kline reached on an error, Trevor Bollinger walked, Tate Landis sacrificed both into scoring position, and Seibert’s squeeze bunt drove in Kline. The Phillies had an opportunity for more, loading the bases when Shertzer was plunked. But Baker whiffed the next batter and then Hess’ line drive was caught by Solanco second baseman Sean Keller to end the threat.

The Phillies had their opportunities with runners on base in all but one inning. Collectively, Solanco pitchers Baker, May, Seth Harnish and Stively walked six and hit two batters, but limited Warwick to just four hits. For the game, the Phillies stranded nine runners on base.

Seibert, who went 3 2/3 innings for the Phillies, suffered the loss for Warwick. Solanco added two more runs in the top of the third as Baker hit a leadoff homer to left and Mitchell Moyer had an RBI fielder’s choice.

Rohrbach’s sac fly drove in Tate Landis, who walked, in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the Phils’ deficit to 6-4, but Solanco regained a three-run cushion in the fifth off of Rohrbach on May’s leadoff single and Josiah Petersheim’s RBI ground out to third. Reliever Matt Williams limited the damage, getting the final two batters on just two pitches.

It remained a three-run game until the seventh. There, Harnish &tstr; who had retired six straight &tstr; saw his string snapped when Seibert scalded a 1-2 pitch to left-center for a double. Shertzer’s single put runners at the corners, and then Rohrbach worked a five-pitch walk from Stively to load the bases.

Seibert scored when Hess was plunked, but the Phillies could get no closer.

“We really wanted to get the top of our lineup rolled over so that we could get the meat of our guys up there and put some heat on them,” Shertzer remarked. “Obviously with two outs, Matty Seibert laced a real nice double &tstr; he had a great at-bat, period. He went with the pitch and then we started getting a little bit of momentum. I was hoping Evan was going to see a nice pitch to get a swing when they made the pitching change. If there’s one kid on my team that has the ability to tie this game with one swing, it was him.”

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