By Todd Irwin
CLYMER - Juniata Valley's David Ormsby missed the early part of the baseball season with a broken finger.
His finger is healed now, and, if Wednesday's District 6 Class A playoff game against Penns Manor is any indication, Ormsby's sweet swing from the left side doesn't appear to have been affected by the injury.
The senior hit a towering home run in the fourth inning - his first of the season - and went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in support of Billy Edmiston, who pitched five scoreless innings in the ninth-seeded Green Hornets 6-3 win over the eighth-seeded Comets under a battleship gray sky.
"I'm starting to see the ball well, and I've been hitting a lot," Ormsby said. "I took some swings [after the injury], and I'm right back to where I started."
"The No. 3 hitter is a really good hitter," PM coach Dan Antonacci said. "He's probably one of the best hitters we've seen this year. You could tell in pre-game that he could hit."
The Hornets will now play top-seeded Bishop McCort at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Point Stadium in the quarterfinals.
Ormsby's home run was the second of the game for the Hornets. The second came with JV up 2-0 in the second and Mason Varner on base. Leadoff hitter Ethan Morrison homered over the left-field fence to make it 4-0.
"We're not really a home-run club," JV coach Bill Peters said, "but we take what we can get."
"The leadoff hitter's home run was a little shocking," Antonacci said, "but we have a small field, especially where those guys hit them. But give credit to the batters."
Varner plated Ryan Norris with a ground ball in the third to make it 5-0. In the fourth, Ormsby took advantage of his foul ball being dropped in right field by going deep over the 317-feet sign.
"I was just fouling off some pitches and trying to stay alive," Ormsby said, "and he threw it low inside, and I took advantage of it. Our home field is about 350 [feet] down the right-field line, so it's a little hard to hit a home run."
Edmiston had three-hitter going into the sixth, but the Comets had four hits in the inning, including back-to-back RBI hits by Brandon Ailes and Luke Ruddock. But Edmiston yielded only sacrifice fly in the seventh from there. Edmiston threw 91 pitches, and 74 of those were strikes.
"Billy did an excellent job," Peters said. "In the sixth inning, he got the ball up a little bit, and that hurt him a little bit. He's usually a low-ball pitcher. I had Ormsby warming, but I wanted to stick with him as long as I could."
"I was hoping we'd get our offense started," Ormsby said, "and Billy would pitch good like he always does."
JUNIATA VALLEY (6): Morrison ss 422, Belinda 2b 411, Ormsby cf 313, Greene c 400, Edmiston p 201, Faubert cr 000, Norris 1b 411, Singer 3b 401, Claar lf 301, Varner rf 412. Totals - 32-6-12.
PENNS MANOR (3): Popovich ss-p 412, Tomayko p-c 412, Vodopevic c-1b 300, Tomayko 3b 411, Bracken 2b 300, Ailes rf 302, Ruddock 1b-ss 201, Stewart cf 300, Kowalski lf 000, Parfitt dh 300. Totals - 29-3-8.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Juniata Valley221 100 0-6 12 1
Penns Manor...........000 002 1-3 8 3
E-Singer; Tomayko, Ailes, Ruddock. 2B-Ailes, Ruddock. HR-Morrison, Ormsby. RBI-Morrison 2, Ormsby 2, Edmiston, Varner; Vodopevic, Ailes, Ruddock. SB-Ormsby; Popovich, Vodopevic. CS-Belinda (by Tomayko). PO-Claar (by Vodopevic). SAC-Belinda. SF-Edmiston; Vodopevic. LOB-Juniata Valley 9, Penns Manor 7. DP-Penns Manor. HBP-Ruddock.
Juniata Valley: Edmiston (W)-7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO.
Penns Manor: Tomayko (L)-1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO; Popovich-5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO.
Records: Juniata Valley (11-8); Penns Manor (10-9).