Short­handed More­landers fall to Bris­tol

The Globe - - SPORTS - By Mike Prince

With a num­ber of play­ers miss­ing from the ros­ter, Dennis Long knew he had to go the whole way in the More­landers’ third re­gional play­off game. And while the fu­ture Up­per More­land High se­nior threw well for most of the game, a cou­ple of bad in­nings spelled doom for the pitcher and his team.

Long tossed a com­plete game, but took the loss, al­low­ing two big in­nings to Bris­tol as the More­landers ORVW 8-7 Ln D PHn­nVyOvDnLD Amer­i­can Le­gion Re­gion 3 ORVHU’V EUDFNHW SODyRII DW Penns­bury High School on Tues­day af­ter­noon in the con­clu­sion of a game which was sus­pended due to rain on Mon­day.

LRnJ VWUuFN RuW fivH DnG al­lowed just six hits, but he did walk seven bat­ters and al­lowed Bris­tol to put up three runs in the sec­ond in­ning and four more in the fiIWK WR WDNH Dn 8-1 OHDG EH­fore hold­ing on for the vic­tory.

“The rain didn’t re­ally hurt us, as both pitch­ers only went an in­ning on Mon­day and were back on the mound,” More­landers coach Ken Irwin said. “A cou­ple of kids weren’t here be­cause of other obli­ga­tions and work, so that kind of hurt, but Den- nis pitched very well. If this was a usual seven-in­ning game, we prob­a­bly win, but it’s nine in­nings and it was just tough. We outhit them, but we just had too many walks and that hurt us.”

The More­landers, who were the vis­it­ing team on the af­ter­noon, scored one run in WKH WRS RI WKH fiUVW, EuW DOlowed Bris­tol to tie the game up in the bot­tom half of the

in­ning and then go up 4-1 af­ter two. In the fifth, Bris­tol scored four more runs to go up 8-1, but the More­landers were not fin­ished.

In the top of the sixth in­ning, the More­landers put up six runs, as 7ommy Robin­son walked, 1ick Parker sin­gled and Long walked to load the bases. Matt Iehle then hit an RBI sin­gle and Matt .ohn and .yle Irwin each fol­lowed with two-run sin­gles. Colton Hooker hit a sac­ri­fice fly to help the More­landers get within one run, at 8-7.

7he More­landers were then held score­less in the fi­nal three in­nings en route to the one-run loss.

“I think we should’ve made it fur­ther than we did,” Long said. “I didn’t pitch to the best of my abil­ity and I had a cou­ple in­nings where I had trou­ble find­ing the strike zone. I was walk­ing guys and that hurt us. Other than that, I felt pretty good in to­day’s game. It was just a tough one and I couldn’t get the outs when I needed them the most.”

Coach Irwin, whose team fin­ished 16-9 over­all this sea­son with its first Lower Montco Amer­i­can Le­gion Base­ball League cham­pi­onship in five years, said that he be­lieved Long threw a good game de­spite the loss.

“Dennis struck out a kid and he still got on first base,” coach Irwin said. “We just put too many run­ners on and to his credit, he got out of some in­nings. Dennis was huge to­day and we knew we didn’t have much pitch­ing and we knew that he had to go the whole game be­cause if we won, we only had two other guys who could’ve taken the mound. As much as he had those two bad in­nings, he kept us in the game and gave us a chance.”

Of­fen­sively, the More­landers were led by .yle Irwin and .ohn, who each went 2-for-4 with two RBI apiece. Long walked and scored, as did Robin­son, while Iehle fin­ished with a hit, an RBI and a run scored.

As a team, the More­landers scat­tered 10 hits and com­mit­ted two er­rors. Bris­tol scored eight runs on six hits while also com­mit­ting two er­rors.

De­spite the early exit from the re­gional tour­na­ment, coach Irwin said he was very im­pressed with what his team did this sea­son, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that some of his play­ers played in the Car­pen­ter Cup and then had al­most no break or days off late in the sea­son be­cause of the co­pi­ous amount of post­poned games dur­ing the Le­gion sea­son.

“7he in­cred­i­ble part is that we had to play a lot of games in such a short pe­riod of time just to get them in and make the play­offs and the kids came out and bat­tled ev­ery day,” coach Irwin said. “At times, they just looked ex­hausted, but they still did a lot of pos­i­tive things to get us to this point. We weren’t re­ly­ing on 4-5 guys and it was just amaz­ing. It was a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for a lot of our younger guys that are go­ing to need it for the high school sea­son and Le­gion next year. 7hey got a chance to play in big games and pro­duce the way they did and it makes it promis­ing for next year’s team.”

Long agreed that the en­tire sea­son was one big learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially with top guys like Robert .nox and com­pany miss­ing from the team late in the sea­son.

“We learned a lot,” Long said. “We lost a few guys to­wards the end, so a lot of guys had to step up, my­self in­cluded, and learn how to play in the spot­light.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia / SCOTT RO­MAN

The More­landers’ Nicholas Parker makes it safely to third dur­ing Mon­day’s Penn­syl­va­nia Amer­i­can Le­gion Re­gion 3 tour­na­ment against Bris­tol.

Mont­gomery Me­dia / SCOTT RO­MAN

Kyle Walder de­liv­ers a pitch dur­ing Mon­day’s Re­gion 3 play­off game against Bris­tol.

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