NORTHERN CAMBRIA - Two pitches into Tuesday evening's District 6 Class A baseball playoff game at the Northern Cambria North Athletic Complex, Williamsburg had runners on first and third.
The fun was just beginning for the Blue Pirates, who went on to rout host and sixth-seeded Northern Cambria, 9-0, and earn a second-round berth against Claysburg-Kimmel.
Eleventh-seeded Williamsburg banged out 15 hits. Sean McCauley drove in four runs, and Mike McCall drove in three. Each hit three-run homers that put the Blue Pirates in command. Dalton Price added four hits.
"It was basically a team effort. Everyone was on the ball. Everyone was hitting the ball," McCauley said.
Three Blue Pirates hurlers combined for 10 strikeouts while
limiting the Colts two four hits.
As the crowd started to settle in at the start of a game that was initially postponed and then pushed back 2 hours because of inclement weather, Adam Wheland doubled to left field on the first pitch from Zack Yuhas.
The Northern Cambria right-hander's second pitch was deposited into left field by Austin McMonagle.
Northern Cambria manager John Bonatesta agreed that Williamsburg's aggressive approach night have prevented Yuhas from establishing a rhythm.
"I think it disrupts his rhythm, keeps him off balance a little bit," Bonatesta said.
In golf lingo, they say, "Grip it and rip it."
"It might mix them up a little bit," Welch said. "But I teach them, 'If the first pitch is down the middle, drive it. Let's get on the bases.' "
Caleb Morrissey walked to load the bases. One out later, McCauley scored Wheland on a ground out that gave the Blue Pirates (8-8) what turned out to be the only run they would need.
McCauley's three-run homer in the third inning to near straightaway center field stretched the lead to 4-0.
"It was right down the middle so I thought I'd take [a swing at] it," he said.
Yuhas swapped places with Evan Waldron after facing four men in the third inning. Yuhas walked three and struck out none.
"Zack's pitched well for us all year. He's dominated some games," Bonatesta said. "He just didn't have his best stuff today. And that happens. That's baseball; that's just what I told the kids"
McCall poked a three-run homer off Waldron over the right-field fence the next inning to make it 7-0. The drive surprised even himself.
"I was thinking it was going to be a routine fly because our field is so much bigger than this one," he said. "But I hit it pretty solid."
Price's two-run single in the fifth erased whatever doubt might have lingered.
Won-lost record aside, Welch and McCall are confident the Blue Pirates, who lost a pair of one-run decisions to Claysburg-Kimmel, can stand toe-to-toe with the third-seeded Bulldogs.
"We've played pretty good this year. We've lost some games by just one run to some pretty good teams that are higher seeds than us in [this tournament]," McCall said.
"I think we can go there, play strong and play another good game," Welch said.
McCauley concurred, "We've got to keep the motivation going. We've got to keep it rolling.
Northern Cambria left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings. The Colts left 11 runners on base, including eight in scoring position.
"We had good pitching behind us tonight," Welch said, "and it's a good feeling."
Josh Bonatesta stroked two doubles for the Colts, who finished the season 10-9. He and Adam Polites are three-year starters who are expected to return for their senior season.
WILLIAMSBURG (9): Wheland ss-p 3b 422, McMonagle 2b-p-ss 512, Morrissey rf 310, Price p-2b 514, McCauley 3b 421, Dishong c 403, Hughes cr 010, McCall 1b 311, Rabits cf 401, Hearn dh 401, Snyder rf 000. Totals - 36-9-15.
NORTHERN CAMBRIA (0): Olish 2b-lf 401, Bonatesta cf 202, Polites ss 100, Laurito c 400, Brown cr 000, Prasko lf-1b 301, Wagna 3b 300, Yuhas p-2b 200, Paronish cr 000, Hornick dh 200, Waldron 1b-p 000, Eckenrode rf 200. Totals -23-0-4.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Williamsburg 103 320 0-9 15 0
Northern Cambria 000 000 0-0 4 2
E-Polites 2. 2B-Wheland, Dishong 2, Bonatesta 2, Prasko. HR-McCauley, McCall. RBI-McCauley 4, McCall 3, Morrissey 2. WP-Price. LP-Yuhas. SO-Price 4, McMonagle 4, Wheland 2, Yuhas 0, Waldron 2. BB-Price 2, McMonagle 3, Wheland 2, Yuhas 3, Waldron 0. HB-Price.
Records: Williamsburg (8-8); Northern Cambria (10-9).