Devils hang on, advance
DILLSBURG — Creating opportunities at various times during the all-or-nothing contest, Bellwood-Antis cashed in just often enough.
Newport, on the other hand, did not.
Guess which team is moving on?
Sawyer Kline scattered eight hits over six-plus innings and struck out nine, while Joe Padula plated two runs as Bellwood-Antis held on for a 3-2 victory over Newport in the opening round of the PIAA Class 2A baseball tournament Monday at Northern York High School.
“We didn’t hit the ball a whole lot today, but it was a win,” Bellwood-Antis coach Steve Conlon said. “And that’s what we were trying to do.”
Jack Showalter also plated a run, and Travis Luensmann provided late help on the mound for the Blue Devils (18-5), who will meet District 11 Class 2A champ Marian Catholic in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Marian edged South Williamsport, 2-1.
With Kline frustrating the District 3 champs (15-7) for much of the game, Conlon’s Blue Devils were able to bank single runs in the third, sixth and seventh.
Terrific control (one walk) and the ability to keep the Buffaloes guessing was what kept Kline in command until there were two outs in the seventh.
“I felt really good,” Kline said. “I knew I was gonna have life to my fastball, but when I threw my bullpen I saw that I had some movement to my curveball.
“So, I knew I was gonna be able to work that in.”
“We were waving at some of those curveballs,” Newport’s Steve Zeiders admitted. “It was more like a hard slurve as opposed to that 12-6 curve and he just had us off balance.”
Padula’s sacrifice fly in the third — left fielder Bryce Deaven made a nice play to haul in the baseball — put the Blue Devils up 1-0.
Then, in the sixth, Showalter chased home Jordan McCracken with a sacrifice fly as B-A upped its lead to two runs. Padula’s one-out single in the seventh made it 3-0.
“Credit to them for two runners on third, with less than two out, and getting the sac flies to get the two runners in,” Zeiders commended. “They got that insurance run in the seventh and that was the difference maker.”
“There’s never enough,” Conlon said. “Joey at the end had that big hit, scored the run. At the end, that’s the winning run right there.”
Although Eli Amengual banged out four hits, Zeiders’ persistent bunch had runners in scoring position three times in the first six innings yet failed to score each time. That, however, changed in the seventh.
While Kline sandwiched his last two strikeouts around Noah Heimbaugh’s one-out single, the Buffaloes continued to peck away in hopes of extending their season as Sam Albright and Amengual authored singles and Darin Zeiders walked.
“They obviously saw me a couple times in the lineup, so they definitely knew what I was coming with,” Kline said. “It just came down to them stringing a couple hits together.”
Amengual’s single plated Bryce Deaven with Newport’s first run.
Once Zeiders walked to load the bases, Kline yielded to Luensmann with the sacks full. While Gonzalez worked a five-pitch walk to score Newport’s second run, Luensmann was able to get Brady Herr to force out Gonzalez and end the game.
“Well, we made it interesting,” Conlon said. “I thought Sawyer, for 6ª (innings) was dominant. For a senior to take the ball, I thought he did as much as he could and put us on his back and said, ‘Here.’ I think he just ran out of steam.
“I wanted to get him out of there with the lead. I thought he deserved to get out of there with the lead.”
“They were opportunists and they took advantage of a couple mistakes,” Zeiders added, “and it was the difference in the game.”
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (3): Kowalski cf 412, Tre.Walker rf 401, Padula 1b 101, S.Kline p 400, McFarland 3b 000, McCracken lf 311, Wood ss 200, Luensmann 3b-p 201, Showalter c 200, Tro.Walker dh 310, Schmoke 2b 000. Totals – 25-3-6.
NEWPORT (2): Amengual cf 404, Zeiders p-2b 200, Gonzalez 2b-ss 301, Herr c 400, J.Kline ss-p 300, Muffitt 1b 301, Blose pr 000, Heimbaugh dh 201, Deaven lf 010, Reich rf 300, Albright 3b 311. Totals – 27-2-8.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Bellwood-Antis 001 001 1 — 3 6 1
Newport 000 000 2 — 2 8 2
E–Albright, Zeiders, Tre.Walker. LOB–Bellwood-Antis 7, Newport 7. 2B–Luensmann. RBI–Padula 2, Showalter, Amengual, Gonzalez. SB–Tre.Walker. SF–Padula, Showalter. S–Luensmann, Zeiders, Heimbaugh.
Bellwood-Antis–S.Kline (W) 6.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 9 K; Luensmann (S) 0.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K.
Newport–Zeiders (L) 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 3BB, 4 K; J.Kline 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K.
Records: Bellwood-Antis (18-5); Newport (15-7).