As Mountain View Archery's players walked off Vets Field following their 11-0 loss to Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion Friday evening, one of them asked another just how old a player from Conrad Chiropractic was.
The Lilly-based squad certainly isn't getting younger, but they don't seem to be getting any worse - as Mountain View had just experienced.
"We've got a good strong core of guys," Lilly starting pitcher P.J. Holberg said. "Everyone is pretty mentally tough, and a lot of these guys have been here many years now. We don't get stressed out too much, and once the game starts we are just reacting and doing our jobs."
Holberg did his job well Friday, pitching all five innings and allowing just two hits and a walk while notching a shutout on just 59 pitches. With the win, Lilly took a 1-0 lead in the teams' best-of-three Altoona Greater City League semifinal series.
"It's always important in a short series to start off with a win," Holberg said. "I was able to locate my curve today, and my two-seamer had good life on it."
Holberg sat Mountain View Archery down in order in the first inning, and Brent Davison knocked in Cody Gallaher with a dribbler off the top of the bat that hit first base and rolled into the outfield to give Lilly a 1-0 lead.
Mountain View had its best offensive opportunity in the second inning when Josh Ebersole singled and Tyler Negri drew a walk, but Holberg struck out Ryan Harshbarger to end the threat.
Lilly responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning off Alex Marchi. The Mountain View right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning unscathed before being replaced by Eric Miller in the fourth.
Miller was greeted rudely.
Seven consecutive Conrad Chiropractic hitters scored, swelling the lead to 11-0. Brock Porter and Cody Gallaher, who both drove in three runs in the game, had two-run hits in the inning.
"It's mostly their hitting that makes them so tough," Miller said. "They also get some great defensive plays. Their pitching is hittable, but without scoring any runs, it's really hard to beat them."
Gallaher, Lucas McCoy, Nick Wendell and Ryan Ickes all had two hits for Lilly.
"We've been together so long, and we know when it's time to step up," Gallaher said. "We know we have to bring our 'A' game, and I think everyone has been around long enough to know that.
"They were throwing the ball around the plate, and our batters are good and have been doing this in this league for the past 10 years. He threw balls across the plate, and we jumped on them."
The winner of the Lilly/Mountain View series will take on either ProActive Sports or Locker Room in the final. ProActive matched Lilly's regular season record of 22-3, and Locker Room wasn't far behind at 19-6.
"They are good teams," Holberg said. "They are not weak throughout their lineup at all. They've got good sticks, and they've got solid pitching."
MOUNTAIN VIEW ARCHERY (0): Clancy ss 200, Snyder lf 200, Lascoli c 201, J. Harshbarger 1b 200, T. Sweeney 3b 200, Ebersole dh 201, Marchi p 000, Miller p 000, Negri rf 100, R. Harshbarger 2b 200, Snyder cf 100. Totals - 16-0-2.
CONRAD CHIROPRACTIC/LILLY AMERICAN LEGION (11): Matish cf 200, Gallaher 1b 212, Sinclair 2b 310, Davison rf 211, B. Ickes ss 110, McCoy 3b 222, Wendell c 212, Porter dh 321, Holberg p 000, R. Ickes lf 322. Totals - 21-11-10.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Mountain View000 00X X-0 2 1
Conrad/Lilly130 7XX X-11 10 0
E-Clancy. 2B-Gallaher. RBI-Gallaher 3, Porter 3, Matish, Sinclair, Davison, McCoy, Wendell. SB-Sinclair, B. Ickes. SF-Matish, Sinclair.
Mountain View: Marchi (L)-3IP, 5H, 4BB, 0K, 4R, 4 ER, 62 pitches; Miller 1IP, 5H, 3BB, 1K, 7R, 7ER, 40 pitches.
Conrad/Lilly: Holberg (W)-5IP, 2H, 1BB, 2K, 0R, 0ER, 59 pitches.
Umpires: Roger Oswalt (HP), Gene Decker
Series: Conrad Chiropractic/Lilly American Legion leads, 1-0.