New­town flexes might in Dis­trict 30 cham­pi­onship

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By John Glee­son

In the fi­nal win­ners bracket game of the Dis­trict 30 Lit­tle League cham­pi­onship New­town faced the im­pos­ing chal­lenge of try­ing to de­throne the peren­nial di­a­mond king, War­wick. The task seemed her­culean at best with a vic­tory rank­ing among the best shots David would ever give any Go­liath.

War­wick, coached by Tim Ford, brought not only a loaded arse­nal but a sense of his­tory to the Northamp­ton Civic Cen­ter play­ing fields. His youth­ful ti­tans won the dis­trict and sec­tional Un­der-11 year old ti­tles in 2012 and the Un­der-10 dis­trict and sec­tional ti­tles in 2011. To say they were the bet­tors’ fa­vorite to three-peat ranks as a rather mod­est claim.

This year’s ver­sion of War­wick ex­press rolled through the dis­trict pool play, de­feat­ing all three op­po­nents, New­town, Northamp­ton and Le­nape by a com­bined to­tal of 395. All five runs they sur­ren­dered came in their open­ing 11-5 win over New­town. When the reg­u­lar tour­na­ment games started, War­wick con­tin­ued its hot streak by de­feat­ing Deep Run, 13-3.

New­town, on the other hand, had to bat­tle to stay alive in the tour­na­ment. Af­ter its open­ing pool play loss to War­wick, coach Jim Miller’s men in blue de­feated Deep Run (10-8) and Le­nape (7-5). A 10-6 loss to Northamp­ton in the fi­nal pool game seemed omi­nous but re­ally gave New­town a chance to show its courage un­der fire. The play­ers ral­lied their spir­its and de­feated Northamp­ton 15-7 in the first win­ners’ bracket game, set­ting up the show­down with War­wick.

The bat­tle fea­tured two very dif­fer­ent pitch­ing styles. War­wick’s Sam Reynolds brought a blis­ter­ing fast­ball to the mound, heat that he com­bined with an oc­ca­sional change or curve. New­town’s Erick Miller opted to em­ploy off­speed stuff to keep the War­wick hit pa­rade off bal­ance.

Though the War­wick brain­trust hoped for a quick mercy kill, the crafty Miller kept their bats quiet in the first in­ning. New­town launched the first of­fen­sive as­sault in the bot­tom of the in­ning when Ger­ald Gen­siejew­ski led off with a sin­gle. A walk to Erick Miller and a wild pitch put both run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion. Michael Kane was quick to take ad­van­tage, rop­ing a line shot to left cen­ter to plate both Gen­siejew­ski and Miller.

The 2-0 lead looked a bit pre­car­i­ous as War­wick par­layed two walks and a sin­gle into a run in the top of the sec­ond. Mean­while, Reynolds looked to be gain­ing steam as he struck out the side in the bot­tom of the sec­ond.

In the top of the third, War­wick staged its big­gest of­fen­sive threat when starter Erick Miller hurt his arm and had to turn the pitch­ing duty over to Nathan Abbe who, un­der­stand­ably need­ing time to warm up, walked the first two men he faced.

New­town main­tained its poise as the play­ers turned to their de­fen­sive skills to squelch the im­pend­ing storm. Third base­man Grif­fin Peter­son made a great play, knock­ing down a hard ground ball and div­ing to the bag to nip the slid­ing War­wick run­ner. Af­ter a hit bats­man loaded the bases, Peter­son came through with an­other gem, charg­ing a slow grounder and fir­ing a strike to catcher Mark Seib­ert to get a force at home. Short­stop Michael Kane ended the War­wick in­ning

wLWK D sKRUW WR fiUsW JURunG out.

In the top of the fourth, KRwHvHU, WDUwLFN finDOOy flH[HG LWs RIIHn­sLvH Pus­cles. A walk, a triple by Cole Nehring, a sin­gle by Shane Sloan and a two-run homer by Sam Reynolds ac- counted for four runs and put the vis­i­tors ahead by 5-2 mar­gin.

New­town re­fused to fold. With one out in the bot­tom of the fourth, D. J. Mis­chak sin­gled to left. Peter­son and Abbe walked. A wild pitch sent Mis­chak scur­ry­ing home with a run. Af­ter a strike­out, Ger­ald Gen- siejew­ski came through with a sin­gle to plate anRWKHU Uun. 7KH fiUH FRROHG when New­town at­tempted a dou­ble steal and Abbe was tagged out at home.

Af­ter War­wick scored an Ln­suUDnFH Uun Ln WKH fiIWK, New­town gamely staged a last rally. With one down, Miller reen­tered the game and walked. Kane fol­lowed with a sin­gle and Mis­chak bHDW RuW Dn Ln­fiHOG KLW, sHnGing pinch run­ner Pat Brynes home with the home team’s finDO WDOOy.

Though fall­ing on the short side of the 6-5 score, 1HwWRwn KDG GHfinLWHOy shown they have the heart of a cham­pion.

New­town baserun­ner Jared Leuz beats the throw to third.

Ball skips by New­town catcher Mark Seib­ert.

D.J. Mis­chak un­loads on a pitch for New­town.

John Gif­ford and D.J. Mis­chak await the ump’s call.

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