CLEARFIELD — Murrysville continued its Cinderella run through the Pennsylvania American Legion Region 7 Tournament by stunning Central Penn League champion Beech Creek 7-5 with five runs in the eighth inning at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park Field Wednesday.
The Westmoreland County League’s No. 2 representative is making the most of a second chance to extend its season.
Given a reprieve after losing in the playoff semifinals because runner-up Irwin didn’t have enough players available to enter the tourney, Murrysville had to get by Latrobe (3-2) in a play-in game, and the team of mostly Franklin Regional High School underclassmen now is just six outs away from claiming the region title for a trip to the state tournament that begins Tuesday in Boyertown.
Leading 3-2, Murrysville was batting in the bottom of the seventh inning of the championship game against Claysburg when a thunderstorm halted action.
Coaches of the two teams agreed with tournament officials to complete the game in Somerset Thursday at noon.
Beech Creek (22-7) had Murrysville (27-9) on the ropes after two innings, as Chuck Probst blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence to expand the Crickets’ lead to 5-0.
They couldn’t break through against Ben Ramey the rest of the way, though.
The 6-3, 240-pound right-hander went the distance on an eight-hitter with a pitch count of 144. He logged seven strikeouts and issued four walks.
Cricket starter Cole Hanley pitched into the sixth inning, allowing only three hits and two runs.
He walked eight, with three in the sixth before he gave way to Evan McKinley, who escaped that jam via a soft liner to short and a strikeout.
McKinley was charged with the loss after departing with Beech Creek still ahead, 5-4, with two outs in the eighth.
However, Kenny Heverly stepped into a bases-loaded situation, and a wild pitch enabled John Bondi to score the tying run.
Ramey then won his own game with a sharp grounder inside third base for a two-run single.
The junior-to-be at Franklin Regional in the fall closed it out in impressive fashion, bringing the heat for two strikeouts and inducing a routine flyout to center field.
Brett Myers doubled and singled and Ramey had two singles for the winners.
Probst accounted for three of Beech Creek’s safeties.
Murrysville was limited to two hits by Claysburg (26-4) right-hander Austin McMonagle but scored unearned runs with the score tied in the fourth and sixth innings.
Myers held the Cambria County League champions to five hits, including a double and a solo home run by Mike Mock.
Mock was pitching in relief with one out and a runner at first base when the game was stopped.
BEECH CREEK — 5
Trapper Kunes cf 5110, Chuck Probst ss 5233, Kenny Heverly rf-p 4000, Clayton Butler 3b 4011, Talon Falls 3b 0000, Toner Corl 2b 3010, Ethan McGill c 4000, Caleb Seyler dh 2000, Evan McKinley p-rf 1000, Bryce Hanley 1b 3120, Drew Nyman lf 4100. TOTALS: 35 5 8 4.
MURRYSVILLE — 7
John Bondi ss 4100, Ryan Grieco rf 4210, Matt Frey 2b 4212, Ben Ramey p 3022, Anthony Falce c 5001, Brett Myers 3b 3120, Bryce Halleck 1b 2110, Jordan Kestler cf 2000, Casen Wolinsky ph 1000, Zach Iovino lf 0001, Harrison Thatcher lf-cf 2000. TOTALS: 30 7 7 6.
Score by Innings
Beech Creek 230 000 000 – 5 8 3
Murrysville 000 200 05x – 7 7 2
E – Heverly, Butler, McGill; Bondi 2. DP – Beech Creek 1 (Probst, Corl and B. Hanley); Murrysville 1 (Frey, Bondi and Halleck). LOB – Beech Creek 7; Murrysville 10.
2B – Frey, Myers. HR – Probst. SF – Iovino. SB – Probst. CS – Bondi (by McGill).
Beech Creek – C. Hanley 5-1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 BB, 4 K; McKinley 2-1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; Heverly 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
Murrysville – Ramey 9 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.
WP – C. Hanley 1, Heverly 1; Ramey 1.
W – Ramey. L – McKinley.
Umpires – Mark Michelucci (plate), Gary Kost (first base), and Jay Siegel (third base).