BELLWOOD – The Curwensville Teener League 15-and-16 All-Stars showed their character Friday when they bounced back from a 22-2 thumping by Hollidaysburg to defeat Philipsburg-Osceola 13-5 at Drost Field 1 and earn the right to play another day in the 58th VFW Teener League State Championships.
Curwensville will play Mount Union again Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the elimination bracket semifinal, a rematch of Thursday\’s first-round game which Curwensville won 12-6. Mount Union rebounded to oust Schuylkill North 9-1 and Schuylkill East 16-1 Friday.
The Curwensville-Mount Union winner then will play in the elimination bracket final at 4 against the loser of the morning winner\’s bracket final between Hollidaysburg and Altoona.
The 2007 championship will be decided Sunday at 11 a.m. and, if necessary, 2 p.m.
Curwensville was forced to take the long, tough road when Hollidaysburg opened an 11-0 lead in its first four at bats and then sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth to double its run total.
Sidd Amirneni starred for Hollidaysburg with four hits and six runs batted in, winning pitcher Andrew Ford homered and singled and drove in four runs and Neil Schroth added three hits and three ribbies.
Curwensville manager Denny Johns kept his remarks very brief before his players switched dugouts to become the visitors against P-O.
\”I told the team the only good thing is it\’s over,\” he said. \”Nobody wants to play in a game like that. Unfortunately, if you play baseball long enough, it happens.\”
\”You never know when something gets away from you like that how the kids will react, but they came back and did what had to be done.\”
Johns won the coin toss and surprisingly opted not to be the home team.
P-O coach Buddy Wrye told Johns he was going to do the same thing if he won the toss.
The Curwensville players were much happier in the visitor\’s dugout. They scored in every inning except the first and Sam Gardner pitched a complete game in the duel between the two Area VI representatives. They had split in the area tourney, won by P-O with a 3-1 record.
Gardner gave the pitching staff a big boost by going the distance.
\”He did what he had to do,\” Johns said. \”They had 11 hits, but he had only three walks. And we played pretty good defense behind him.\”
The Area VI runners-up executed two double plays, one in the fourth inning when P-O sliced Curwensville\’s 8-0 lead in half and might have really put the pressure on Gardner.
Cory Bloom got Curwensville\’s offense in gear with an RBI-triple in the second inning.
Five runs crossed the plate in the third, the big blow a two-run homer to left center by Jed Greslick. Wes McGarry, Gardner and Nick Redden also had hits, Redden\’s a double into the left field corner. Ben McGary had an RBI-groundout, while the other two runs scored on a wild pitch and a double steal by Jesse Hoover and Redden.
McGary doubled home two runs in the fourth.
After P-O made it interesting thanks to Paul Hahn\’s line drive homer to left, an error that allowed two runs and Ryan Wesesky\’s run-producing single, Curwensville came right back with three runs on two walks, Bloom\’s RBI-double, a wild pitch and Tyler Johns\’ sacrifice fly.
Gardner doubled for an RBI in the sixth and a wild pitch gave Curwensville its final run in the seventh.
A double by Brandon Myers and a single by Storm Bumbarger accounted for P-O\’s other run in the sixth.
Starter Craig Callovini was the loser for P-O, which used four pitchers.
Greslick, Gardner and Bloom each had two hits for Curwensville, while Myers had three and Hahn and Bumbarger added two apiece for P-O.
\”It was a long day of baseball,\” Denny Johns said, adding his team would have to play two more double-headers to win the title. \”We just have to play one game at a time, and, hopefully, the arms will hold out.\”
The Curwensville All-Stars simply were overmatched against hard-hitting Hollidaysburg in the winner\’s bracket semifinal.
They had no answer for Ford\’s mixture of fastballs and curves that included sidearm offerings.
The right-hander struck out four of the first 10 batters and retired four others on easy comebackers.
In five innings, he recorded seven strikeouts, walked one batter and hit one. He also had a pickoff.
Steve Shiffler mopped up with one hitless inning.
Meanwhile, the Area IV runners-up showed no mercy against four Curwensville pitchers with 19 hits, eight for extra bases. They were aided by nine walks and two hit batsmen.
With Hollidaysburg leading 1-0, Ford belted a two-run homer to center field for what proved to be the game-winning hit and Zach Fagans followed with a solo homer to left field in the second inning off loser Wes McGarry.
Two-run singles by Amirneni and Schroth doubled the margin to 8-0 in the third, and the winners tacked on three runs off Tyler Johns in the third.
Hoover relieved with one out and kept Hollidaysburg quiet for five outs, but he departed in favor of Brett Sutika after failing to get an out in the sixth. Hoover was charged with four earned runs. Sutika entered with the bases loaded and surrendered seven runs, though only two were earned.
Amirneni\’s double and triple that knocked in three runs highlighted the outburst, which included three walks, a hit batsman and all three of Curwensville errors.
Curwensville scored its runs in the fourth to avert having the mercy rule invoked after the fifth inning. McGary doubled to right center and Greslick was nicked by a pitch. Gardner grounded into a forceout, and McGary scored when Hollidaysburg botched the double play attempt. Gardner then advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
HOLLIDAYSBURG – 22
Neil Schroth 2b 4133, Tyler Sell ss 3111, Matt Taylor eh-cf 5111, Brandon Simpson 3b 4221, Brendon Weaver 1b-eh-1b 4431, Jake Weibley lf-eh-1b-lf 3410, Sidd Amirneni cf-lf-rf 4446, Andrew Ford p-eh 3324, Zach Fagans rf-c 3211, Chris Budd c 2010, Steve Shiffler rf-p 2000. TOTALS: 37 22 19 18.
Ben McGary 1b 2110, Jed Greslick lf-ss-2b 2000, Sam Gardner cf 3110, Jesse Hoover ss-p-ss 2000, Nick Redden 3b 2011, Cory Bloom c 2000, Derek Dixon rf-3h 1000, Derek Brothers c 1000, Tyler Johns eh-p 1000, Andrew Starr rf 0000, Brett Sutika 2b-p 2000, Wes McGarry p-rf-lf 2000. TOTALS: 20 2 3 0.
Score by Innings:
Hollidaysburg 134 30(11) – 22 19 1
Curwensville 000 20 0 – 2 3 3
Errors – Schroth; Greslick, Gardner, Hoover. PB – Fagans; Bloom. LOB – Hollidaysburg 9; Curwensville 3. 2B – Schroth, Weaver, Weibley, Amirneni, Ford; McGary. 3B – Amirneni. HR – Ford, Fagans. SF – Schroth. SB – Redden.
Hollidaysburg – Ford 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; Shiffler 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
Curwensville – McGarry 2-1/3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Johns 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; Hoover 1-2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; Sutika 1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K.
HB – Ford 1 (Greslick); Hoover 2 (Simpson, Ford). WP – Ford 1; McGarry 1, Sutika 1. Pickoff – Ford 1 (Starr).
W – Ford. L – McGarry (0-2).
Umpires – Gary Kost (home), Jim Klausman (first base), Scott Viehdorfer (third base).
* * * * * * * * * *
CURWENSVILLE – 13
McGary 1b 5013, Greslick cf 3122, Gardner p 3121, Redden 3b 3210, Hoover ss 2210, Bloom c-eh 4223, Dixon rf 4010, Johns eh-2b 2001, Sutika 2b 0200, Brothers c 2000, McGarry lf 1210, Starr lf 2110. TOTALS: 31 13 12 10.
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA – 5
Tom Cheskey cf 4010, Gavin Luzier c 1000, Steve Rusnak c-p 3000, Paul Hahn ss-p-ss 4121, Colton Wrye 2b-eh 3000, Kody Bennett 3b 3110, Tim Martin lf-ss 2000, Andrew Weitoish lf 1000, Brandon Myers eh-1b-lf 3230, Storm Bumbarger 1b-p-1b-c 3121, Craig Callovini p-1b 1000, Jeremy Phillips 2b 1010, Ryan Wesesky rf 3011. TOTALS: 32 5 11 3.
Score by Innings:
Curwensville 015 231 1 – 13 12 1
Philipsburg-Osceola 000 401 0 – 5 11 2
Errors – Hoover; Bennett, Wesesky. DP – Curwensville (Dixon, Hoover, Redden and Hoover; Hoover, Johns and McGary). LOB – Curwensville 9; Philipsburg-Osceola 8. 2B – McGary, Gardner, Bloom; Myers. 3B – Bloom. HR – Greslick; Hahn. SF – Gardner, Johns. SB – Hoover 2, Redden.
Curwensville – Gardner 7 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K.
Philipsburg-Osceola – Callovini 2-1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Bumbarger 1-1/3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K; Hahn 1-1/3 IP, 1H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Rusnak 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
WP – Callovini 1, Bumbarger 1, Rusnak 2.
W – Gardner (1-1). Callovini.