Tigers bounce Lions to reach finals
Tied 1-1 through four innings, Altoona scored two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead, but Hollidaysburg answered that and more in the bottom half of the inning. Three more to be exact.
That was all Hollidaysburg needed, holding off the Mountain Lions the final two innings for a 6-3 win in the semifinals of the Curve Classic Saturday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
“Sometimes you score more runs in one inning than the other team does the whole game,” Hollidaysburg coach Jon Szynal said. “We haven’t been hitting the ball real great, but we’ve been getting clutch hits and taking advantage of the other teams miscues.”
The Golden Tigers won the tournament a year ago and will look to make it two in a row when they face Central in the championship game today at 1 p.m. Central advanced with a 16-3 win in five innings over Bishop Carroll.
Hollidaysburg’s big inning started with a pair of walks and a hit batsman that loaded the bases with one out.
Andy Crum’s single to right skipped past John McGinley, clearing the bases and giving Hollidaysburg a 4-3 lead.
John Servello’s single to center chased Crum home, and Servello eventually came around to score on a passed ball.
“They scored five runs on two hits,” Altoona coach Tom Smith said. “Good teams don’t allow that to happen. That falls back on me. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Jordan McCall went the distance for the win, striking out three and walking five.
“Jordan hasn’t thrown that much this year, but he’s been out there before,” Szynal said. “He’s a competitive kid. A couple walks here and there early on, but he settled in after that.”
The Mountain Lions got four walks and stole six bases in the first three innings but could only manage a 1-0 lead because they had no hits.
“We left a lot of runs out there,” Smith said. “They stayed within striking distance and jumped on us in the bottom of the fifth.”
Altoona’s first hit didn’t come until the top of fifth. Jaret Berardinelli led off with a bunt single that started a two-run rally that put the Mountain Lions ahead 3-1.
Berardinelli moved to second on a ground out and scored on McGinley’s two-out single to center. Dylan Conrad followed with a double into the right field corner to score McGinley.
“After you take the lead, you want to go out there and throw up a goose egg. We did the opposite of that,” Smith said.
McGinley had half of Altoona’s four hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Crum went 2-for-4 for Hollidaysburg. He is 4-for-7 in the first two tournaments games.
ALTOONA (3): Reighard p-2b 400, Helsel cf 300, McGinley rf 412, Conrad c 301, Carper cr 000, Fink 3b 210, DeGol 1b 300, Lombardo lf-p 100, Kirwin 2b 200, Pope 2b 100, Berardinelli ss 311. Totals – 25 3 4.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (6): Sipes ss 311, Augustine lf 400, McCall p 321, Smolko 3b 000, Drum dh 212, Servello rf 411, Simpson 1b 200, Kelly pr 000, Hilling c 300, Dongell pr 000, Fluke cf 200, Stubbs 2b 310. Totals – 26 6 5.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Altoona 010 020 0-3 4 4
Hollidaysburg000 050 x-6 5 1
E-McGinley, Fink, DeGol, Reighard. 2B-Conrad. RBI-McGinley, Conrad, Kirwin. WP-McCall . LP-Reighard. SO-Reighard 2, McCall 3. BB-Reighard 4, McCall 5.
Records: Altoona (2-2); Hollidaysburg (3-1).