U.Moreland Juniors blast Gettysburg
com One step closer. After blitzing through the District 22 and Section 8 tournaments, Upper Moreland Little League’s Juniors team opened the Pennsylvania State Tournament with a resounding, 22-5 shellacking of Gettysburg Little League at Cranberry Area Little League in Seneca.
After winning the coin toss, Upper Moreland manager Ron Kohn strayed from the norm and chose to hit fiUsW. 7KH GHFLsLRn SURvHG wise, as his club put Gettysburg on their heels with a fivH-Uun fiUsW.
AnGy ,HKOH JRW WKH fiUsW of the team’s 20 hits with a one-out single. Nick Pagano followed with a monstrous double that clanked off the OHIW fiHOG IHnFH, 320 IHHW IURP home plate. Jon Searles also contributed with a two-RBI single as Upper Moreland batted around.
Working with a big lead, starting pitcher Dan Howald was able to challenge the Gettysburg hitters and cruised through two innings. Spencer Berwick and Jon Searles followed, never allowing Gettysburg back in the game.
“Obviously, we couldn’t have gotten out to a better start,” Kohn said. “Those (fiUsW LnnLnJ) Uuns wHUH KuJH for our pitching and our confiGHnFH.”
The team didn’t relax after the big start. Far from it. They batted around in each RI WKH fiUsW IRuU LnnLnJs, sFRULnJ 5, 3, 6 DnG 6 Uuns, UHsSHFtively. In a game full of offensive stars, Nick DeLucas shined brightest, with four hits and four runs scored.
Thanks to the lead, Kohn wDs DbOH WR FRnfiGHnWOy SuOO Howald, one of his top startHUs, DIWHU RnOy 30 SLWFKHs, leaving him available for Saturday’s game against PHnnULGJH. BuW fiUsW WKHUH’s the little matter of getting by Pocono Little League, Fri- day’s opponent.
Most of Kohn’s team has been playing tournament bDOO WRJHWKHU IRU DW OHDsW fivH years. Despite taking home consecutive District 22 titles several years ago, this is the vHWHUDn sTuDG’s fiUsW DSSHDUance in the state tournament. The team did not shrink on the bigger stage.
“They were all pretty calm, cool and collected,” Kohn said. “We’re a team that likes to just get to work. All the guys are.”
Despite the fast start to the state tournament, Kohn said this is no time for his team to start realizing just how good
“Tomorrow’s the huge one,” Kohn said. “If we can get through tomorrow at 2-0, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll be playing on Sunday.” Sunday marks the start RI WKH WRuUnDPHnW sHPLfinDO round. Sunday’s winners will square off for the Pennsylvania title. Kohn believes the calm nature of his team will not change.
“Playing through districts and sections, they’ve been cRnfiGHnW, buW nRW cRcNy,” Kohn said. “We’ve been playing pretty well. But these teams out here, including Gettysburg, are no joke.”
Despite the lopsided outcRPH RI WKHLU fiUsW JDPH, nRbody on the Upper Moreland side was laughing. Winning the state title, after all, is serious business.
Upper Moreland’s Dan Howald steps to the plate with a pitch during Thursday’s State tournament action against Gettysburg.