The Bellwood-Antis High School baseball team kicked off the 2013 season with a lopsided, five-inning victory over Moshannon Valley Tuesday.
It had a much, much tougher game in its opening- round game of the Curve Classic Tournament, playing an always tough Central team at the Peoples Natural Gas Field Friday evening.
The Blue Devils barely got the best of the Dragons, edging them by a score of 5-3.
With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Danny Beech, the Bellwood-Antis cleanup hitter, and Bryan Lynn hit consecutive one-out singles to right field. After both runners moved up 90 feet via a wild pitch by Central pitcher Ethan Lewis, and a strikeout of Trenton Creppage, Tanner Snyder drilled a clutch, two-out double that plated both runners.
"We had some timely hitting tonight," Bellwood-Antis coach Steve Conlon said. "Tanner's hit was huge."
The Dragons took an early one-run lead in the top of the first inning, as Kasy Hamm's sacrifice fly scored leadoff hitter Austin Cunningham. The Blue Devils answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, with Beech hitting an RBI single to center to plate Haden DeGennaro. Lynn followed with a run-scoring groundout that brought home Chad Luensman. Following a scoreless second inning, Central took a 3-2 lead, courtesy of a two-run single by Cole Kreider. Unfortunately for the Dragons, that would be the final time they would score.
Once again, Lewis blanked the Blue Devils in the bottom of the third, but Bellwood was able to square the game at 3-3 an inning later. Seth Hunter's sacrifice fly to right field brought home Snyder. And that very next inning, it was Snyder who hit the clutch, game-winning double.
You can't say that the Dragons did not have their chances, having six hits, with three runners reaching on Blue Devils errors and four walks, but the Dragons stranded six runners and Bellwood-Antis was able to clean things up nicely with a pair of double plays.
"That's been the story of our year, not getting the clutch hits when we need them," Central coach A.J. Hoenstine said. "I don't know how many guys we left on, but I know it was a lot."
Luensman picked up the victory while Beech notched the save.
The Blue Devils improved to 2-0, and will play Altoona Area High School in today's semifinal game. Conlon could not hide his excitement for the opportunity to play the Mountain Lions.
"We're very excited for this," Conlon said. "We don't get the opportunity to play AAAA teams often."
Central, on the other hand, remains winless at 0-3. The Dragons will play Latrobe in the consolation round game today. Hoenstine expects Latrobe to be another tough game for them.
"I'm sure Latrobe's a nice team," Hoenstine said. "We have to be ready."
CENTRAL (3): Cunningham ss 221, Lewis p 311 Hamm c 300, Moore rf 301, Kreider 3b 300, Stern 1b 301, Mock lf 202, Hoenstine 2b 300, Slagenweit cf 300. Totals 25 3 6.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (5): DeGennaro cf 311, Leunsman p/1b 412, Gray ss 400, Beech 1b/p 312, Lynn rf 311, Creppage cf 200, Snyder 2b 312, Stapleton f 200, Hunter 3b 100.Totals 25 5 8.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Central102 000 0 3 6 1
Bellwood-Antis200 120 X 5 8 3
E Leunsman, Hunter, Gray, Mock. DP-Bellwood 2, Central 1. 2B-Snyder. RBI-Hamm, Moore 2, Snyder 2, Beech, Lynn, Hunter. SF-Hamm, Hunter. Lewis. SB-Stern, Beech. WP-Luensman. LP -Lewis. SO-Leunsman 2, Beech 1, Lewis 4. BB-Luensman 3, Beech 1, Lewis 5.
Records: Central (0-3); Bellwood-Antis (2-0).