As unsettled as Penn Med manager Tim Cherry felt prior to his Dean Patterson Little World Series semifinal game against league rival Dean Patterson, his team was able to come to his aid and settle his nerves pretty quickly.
Penn Med, the defending tournament champion, used an eight-run fourth inning to send itself back to the championship game as it stormed past Dean Patterson, 12-0, in four innings.
"This was the sixth time we played Dean Patterson this year," Cherry said. "I had butterflies all day at work and was pretty nervous."
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Sheetz third baseman Michael Schimminger tags out Marana Electric’s Dylan Walk to end the first game Thursday.
Adam Sinisi, Jarrid Adams and Nate Cherry each had home runs for Penn Med, and Cherry's two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth inning ended the game due to a 12-run rule that is applied under tournament guidelines.
Seven different Penn Med players drove in runs. Cherry finished 4-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBIs.
"I told them to put the ball in play," the elder Cherry said. "Things will happen when you do that and our bats got going."
Penn Med finished with 14 hits, eight of which came in the final frame.
"We knew (Penn Med) could hit," Dean Patterson coach Carl Adams said. "Our defense was not adequate tonight."
In the earlier game of the semifinal twinbill, fans witnessed Sheetz pitcher Matt Hartman and Marana Electric hurler Braeden Burchfield go back and forth in an old-fashioned pitching duel that saw the two combine for 28 strikeouts in a 36-out youth league game.
Ironically, it was Burchfield, who finished with 16 strikeouts, and Marana Electric that came out on the losing end, 2-1.
"I knew (Burchfield) would be on the mound," Sheetz coach Mike Hartman said. "I know he throws hard, so I knew it would be a tough game."
"To throw 16 strikeouts and allow just a few hits is just outstanding," Sankey said. "Braeden knew he would have to throw the game of his life to have a chance to win and he did. I can't ask anything more from him."
Sheetz pitcher Matt Hartman, coach Hartman's son, struck out twelve Marana batters, and scored the game-winning run in the top of the sixth inning on a double by Zac Kuhns. The younger Hartman admitted he felt confident coming into the game.
"I usually feel good because I feel I can throw well and throw hard," Matt Hartman said. "But I knew it would be a close game, so I tried to do my best."
After Burchfield struck out nine Sheetz batters through the first three innings, Chris McGarvey started off the top of the fourth inning with a triple down the first base line. Two batters later, Kuhns brought McGarvey in on a ground out.
Marana answered in the bottom of the inning. A.J Bardelang singled to start the inning. Caleb Trexler laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bardelang to second base, before Dylan Walk singled him in for Marana's lone run.
Hartman singled and scored the game-winning run on Kuhn's double, as he finished with both of Sheetz's RBIs.
"He's a good hitter," Coach Hartman said. "That's why he hits fourth for us because he puts the ball in play."
Sheetz finished with just three hits, but was able to take full advantage when the opportunity presented itself.
"[Marana] didn't give us anything. We had to earn it." Hartman said. "We just had to hit the ball because it puts pressure on the defense and get a runner on. It's little league; anything can happen."
Sheetz will meet up with Penn Med in the tournament final, Sunday at 8 p.m. at Fye Field.
"The kids are excited," Hartman said. "It's been a while since an AIYBL team made it to the finals. It is good to be back. It's one thing to participate in the championship, but it's another to win. We want to win."
Penn Med will be making its second trip to the final in as many years, where it defeated Park Audio Plus, 11-7, in last year's final.
"It feels great," Cherry said. "We're excited. The kids work hard enough and deserve to be here."
SHEETZ (2): Conrad c 100, McGarvey 2b 311, Hartman p 311, Kuhns 1b 201, Melton cf 200, DeAngelis ss 301, M. Schimminger 3b 300, Simanski rf 300, N. Schimminger lf 200. Totals-22-2-4.
MARANA ELECTRIC (1): Burchfield p 301, Yon 2b 301, Bardelang c 311, Trexler 1b 200, Walk ss 302, Sankey 3b 100, Snyder rf 200, Baumgartner cf 200, Knott lf 200. Totals -21-1-5.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Sheetz 000 101-2 4 0
Marana Electric 000 100-1 5 1
E-Yon. 2B-Kuhns. 3B--McGarvey. RBI-Kuhns 2, Walk. WP--Hartman. LP-Burchfield. SO-Hartman 12, Burchfield 16. BB-Burchfield 2.
DEAN PATTERSON (0): Hileman 2b 200, Carieri p 100, Barton ss 200, Berardinelli c 201, Hostler pr 000, Hale cf 100, Whaley 1b 100, Day 3b 100, Frye eh 100, McMillen rf 100, Ross lf 100. Totals-13-0-1.
PENN MED (12): Cherry ss 444, Beck rf 312, Hunter p 212, Stosch lf 212, Sanders pr 010, Sinisi 2b 311, Adams c 311, Gochnaur 1b 200, Witherspoon 3b 211, Koelle pr 000, Charles cf 311. Totals -21-12-12.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Dean Patterson 000 0XX-0 1 1
Furry Friends 211 8XX-12 14 0
E-Hileman. 2B-Hunter, Berardinelli. HR--Sinisi, Adams, Cherry. RBI-Cherry 2, Hunter 2, Stosch 3, Sinisi, Adams 2, Gochnaur, Charles. WP--Hunter. LP-Carieri. SO-Hunter 3, Carieri 4. BB-Hunter, Carieri 3.
Umpires: Tom Stoner, Brett Stoner, Bobby McManus.