The semifinals of the Altoona Greater City Baseball League began Friday evening between the fourth seeded Mountain View Archery and the top seed Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion.
As expected, Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion defeated Mountain View Archery, but not with the ease which was expected.
Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion had to scratch and claw for everything, earning a come-from-behind, 5-4, victory at Vets Field.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly’s Cody Gallaher upends Mountain View Archery third baseman Anthony Williams in the fourth inning Friday at Vets Field. Gallaher was out on the play.
"A win's a win," Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion player/manager Lucas McCoy said.
There was a match up of two really strong starting pitchers, in Paul Holberg for Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion and Alex Marchi of Mountain View Archery.
But after a scoreless first inning, Mountain View Archery's offense was able to score four runs off of Holberg. Tyler Sweeney led off the inning by singling and the following batter, Will Snyder, doubled, scoring Sweeney. Snyder advanced to third on a pass ball, and Anthony Williams was hit by a pitch. The next hitter, Kenny Snyder, plated his brother Will with a groundout. Then with two outs, Mountain View Archery got something going again, as Dave McCloskey singled and a preceded to steal second. Nate Clancy plated the fourth run of the inning with his single.
Lilly answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning, with Landon Sinclair tripling home Brent Davison, who had reached on a single. Brock Porter scored Sinclair with his RBI groundout. After the shaky second inning, Holberg got stronger as the game went on. From that point on, he would allow just three hits and walk a pair, before being replaced by Sinclair with two outs in the seventh inning.
McCoy commented on Holberg's effort.
"Paul's a very good pitcher," McCoy said. "He's a winner like everyone else on this team."
Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion was kept off the scoreboard in both the third and fourth innings, but finally got to Marchi again in the home half of the fifth. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Brandon Ickes stole second base. After a pop out to short by Davison, McCoy scored Ickes by singling. McCoy preceded to steal second and the next hitter, Sinclair, hit a RBI single. All of a sudden, it was a tie ball game.
When you think about Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion through the years, you think of strong fundamentals, great defense and tremendous pitching, and on Friday evening they showed a little bit of those strong fundamentals in the bottom of the sixth. Ian Olsavsky, Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion's eight-hitter, led off with a single. The next hitter, Ryan Ickes, laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Olsavsky to second. After Marchi got Matish to flyout, Gallaher hit a go-ahead RBI double.
"It was small ball at it's finest," McCoy said. "You get a lead off single, then you bunt him over. Then you get two chances to get him in."
Mountain View Archery had a great chance to tie the game or take the lead in the seventh inning, loading up the bases with no outs, but Sinclair relieved Holberg and induced a double play on the second batter he faced.
Mountain View Archery manager, Dale Snyder commented after the game on his team's play.
"We told the kids all week that if we make plays, scratch out some runs and hold Lilly to five or six runs we could win the game," Snyder said. "We almost did it. I don't believe in moral victories, but we proved we belong tonight."
Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion made an uncharacteristic three errors, shocking everyone in attendance. Mountain View Archery did not commit any.
"That happens," McCoy said. "They're part of the game."
The teams will be back at Vets Field this evening at 5
MOUNTAIN VIEW ARCHERY(4): McCloskey cf 411, Clancy ss 401, Lascoli c 301, J. Harshbarger 1b 300, Sweeney 2b 413, W. Snyder lf 411, Williams 3b 210, K. Snyder rf 300, Ebersole dh 300, Marchi p 000. Totals 30 4 7.
CONRAD CHIROPRACTIC/LILLY AMERICAN LEGION (5): Matish cf/2b 401, Gallaher 1b 402, B. Ickes ss 410, Davison rf/cf 311, McCoy 3b 211, Sinclair 2b 312, Porter c 200, Olsavsky dh/rf 211, Holberg p 000, R. Ickes lf 202. Totals 26 5 10.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Mountain View040 000 0 4 7 0
Conrad /Lilly020 021 0 5 10 3
E McCoy, Holberg, B.Ickes. 2B W. Snyder, R. Ickes, Galaher. 3B Sinclair. RBI McCloskey, W. Snyder, K. Snyder, Porter, Sinclair 2, McCoy, Gallaher. Sb Lascoli, B. Ickes, McCoy. Hbp Lascoli by Holberg, Williams by Holberg. Sacbunt R. Ickes. WP Holberg. LP Marchi. SO Holberg 3, Marchi 2. BB Holberg 2, Marchi 2.