First Posted: 7/16/2014
Back Mountain American used its latest power display to win another title and advance along the Little League Baseball tournament trail.
BMA hit four home runs in each of the three games while going undefeated in the Section 5 Tournament Major Little League Baseball tournament at Nanticoke.
Since Pennsylvania sections were realigned in 2007, BMA is the only Little League to produce more than one title on the Major level, which is for 11-12-year-olds and advances teams toward the famous Little League World Series in Williamsport in August. BMA now has three titles after also winning in 2008 and 2012.
BMA scored in double figures in each game to win the section title and advance to state tournament play today through July 27 at the Lower Perkiomen Little League Field in Lansdale.
Will McCrum and Todd Phillips led the way with three home runs in the tournament while Justin Finarelli and Jack Lukasavage hit two each and Jake Connolly and Frankie Nockley added the others.
“You can never go in and expect to automatically score 10 runs like we’ve been doing,” BMA manager Joe Phillips said of the group, which has reached three straight state tournaments on three different age levels. “It’s just a credit to the kids on the way they come to practice and work on a good base hit stroke up the middle. Good things happen from there.”
McCrum went 3-for-5 with two homers, three runs and five RBI in Tuesday’s 13-7, seven-inning, title-clinching win over Dunmore in a game that was televised locally by WQMY.
By winning the first two games, 11-7 over Dunmore and 10-6 over Archbald, Back Mountain went into Tuesday night with two chances to beat Dunmore and advance. It only needed one.
Finarelli and Lukasavage had the other homers while Phillips and Michael Starbuck had three hits each.
The teams were tied until BMA scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning, then locked up the win by only allowing one.
Finarelli got the game-winning outburst started in the extra inning with a solo home run and McCrum added a three-run shot.
Lukasavage drove in four runs in the first win over Dunmore. He hit home runs along with Phillips, McCrum and Nockley. Phillips, who had a team-high eight hits in the tournament, also tripled.
Phillips hit two home runs in a 3-for-3, four-RBI effort against Archbald. Jake Connolly, who also had three hits, and Finarelli had the other homers.
Finarelli, Starbuck and Connolly had the pitching wins in the tournament.
The District 31 10-11-year-old Little League baseball championship turned into an all-Back Mountain affair.
Back Mountain National piled up 16 hits July 10 while rolling over Back Mountain American, 19-4, for the district championship and a berth in sectional play.
Ty Federici was the winning pitcher. Kyle Sincavage, Max Paczewski, Luke Spencer, Zach Holthaus and Aiden Conrad all had at least two hits in the title game.
Cooper Lewis had two hits for Back Mountain American.
The Section 5 Tournament was scheduled to start Thursday in Mountaintop and was continuing into this weekend.
Back Mountain won two of its first three games in the Section 5 Tournament to advance to the championship where it was facing unbeaten host North Pocono.
Sommer Zier-Norris threw a one-hitter with seven strikeouts while also going 3-for-3 with a triple in a 14-1 rout of Nanticoke in the first round. Kaci Hockenberry had four hits, including a double, Mia Fenske went 3-for-3 and Morgan Sakulich added a double and single.
Back Mountain then fell to host North Pocono, 7-3, in a game where Maura Berecin and Hockenberry had the only hits.
Abby Jayne and Zier-Norris combined on a one-hitter with nine strikeouts in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over Nanticoke to get another shot at North Pocono. Hockenberry had a single and double while Sidney Thomas had two hits.
Back Mountain defeated Kingston/Forty Fort, 5-4, to win the District 31 championship.
Drew Patton pitched the final inning for the save and also provided two hits and an RBI to the offense.
Nick Kocher had two hits, Mike Collins had a hit and drove in a run, Henry Selingo and winning pitcher Matt Mathers had hits, and Adam Borton drove in a run.
The junior team opened Section 5 Tournament play Wednesday at Hollenback.
The Bob Horlacher Memorial Little League won the opener of the state tournament July 10 but finished 2-2 and was eliminated.
The loss ended a run in which the same core group of girls went 27-2 in district, section and state play over three different age groups the last three years while winning two state titles and adding a fourth-place state finish this season. The same group also went 3-2 in the East Regional in 2012 for a total playoff record of 30-4.
Bob Horlacher opened with a 6-5 win over eventual runner-up Warrington/Warwick in nine innings.
Faith Jones went 3-for-5 with a home run and triple while her twin sister Hope Jones went 3-for-5 with a triple and the game-winning single. Sarrah Kuderka, Megan Straley and Erin Dunn added two hits each.
Kuderka pitched three hitless innings of relief for the win after Hope Jones struck out seven in the first six innings.
K.C. Coole and Straley combined on a relay throw from the left-field fence to throw a runner out at the plate in the ninth inning.
Bob Horlacher went 1-1 on the second day of the tournament, losing to state champion Exton, 3-1, before bouncing back for a 16-7 win over the host West Point team from Greensburg.
Hope Jones had nine strikeouts in the loss. Kuderka, who scored the only run, and Mackayla Quick had doubles.
Kassidy Shirtz went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI while Coole added a double and single against West Point.
Warrington/Warwick won a rematch, 5-3, to eliminate Bob Horlacher.
Jena Simmons hit a long three-run homer to put Bob Horlacher ahead in the third inning until Warrington/Warwick pulled out the win with three runs in the sixth.
Back Mountain split the first two games of the Section 5 Tournament after going 4-0 in District 31 play.
Sommer Zier-Norris threw a one-hitter with seven strikeouts while also going 3-for-3 with a triple in a 14-1 rout of Nanticoke in the first round.
Kaci Hockenberry had four hits, including a double, Mia Fenske went 3-for-3 and Morgan Sakulich added a double and single.
Back Mountain then fell to host North Pocono, 7-3, to fall into the elimination bracket.
Maura Berecin and Hockenberry had the only hits for Back Mountain.