Northern Cambria, Williamsburg teams make it to DPLWS finals
By Matt Michelone
For the Mirror
BELLWOOD – Yellow Springs Hardwood shortstop Preston Long may have been struggling at the plate early on in the Dean Patterson Little World Series Tournament, but in the semifinals on Thursday night, he couldn’t have had a stronger bounce-back effort.
Long went 3-for-4 with two home runs and a triple as the Williamsburg entry defeated Caraciollo’s of Bellwood, 13-1, in five innings at James C. Kissel Memorial Field Thursday night.
“We were really happy to see him do that,” Williamsburg coach Dalton Hoey said. “He’s been in a little bit of a slump starting this tournament and he was trying a little too hard.”
Long got back into the groove at the right time for his coaches and teammates.
“It was nice to see him come out of it. He’s been batting .700 for us this year, and I think that’s what sparked our team,” Hoey said.
His efforts helped Yellow Springs bat around as it went to the plate 12 times during the fourth inning, powered by a two-run home run from Long to make it 10-1 after four.
“We saw this pitcher in the all-star tournament at the end of the year, and we went into practice yesterday, we threw a lot of curveballs to the boys,” Hoey said. “It paid off.”
The Williamsburg entry had six extra base hits, including four doubles.
The first game of the day was decided walk-off fashion as Northern Cambria’s Isaiah Lieb knocked in Brady Hoover on an error to right field for the 1-0 win over Altoona Independent entry Thompson’s Pharmacy.
“It makes it kind of tough,” Northern Cambria coach Marlon Czar said of the stalemate. “You miss a few opportunities here and there, then you think back on them. It worked out for us.”
Northern Cambria had a pair of earlier opportunities to close the game out, but those players were ultimately gunned down at the plate in the first and second innings, respectively.
“Sometimes you have to take some chances and hope they don’t make the perfect throw. They made the play,” Czar said.
Both coaches are ready to face each other on Saturday night at 8 p.m.
“We don’t stop working,” Hoey said. “The kids are ready for it, and we’re going to go get it,”
“These boys deserve it; They worked hard all year,” Czar said. “Disciplined, awesome game (Thursday), and I’m proud of these boys.”
Before that one gets going it will be Thompson Pharmacy and Caraciollo’s in the consolation game at 6 p.m.
No. Cambria 1, Thompson’s 0
SCORE BY INNINGS
Thompson Pharmacy 000 000 – 0 2 1
Northern Cambria 000 001 – 1 3 0
2B – Pfeffer; Czar, Lieb.
Yellow Springs 13, Caraciollo’s 1
SCORE BY INNINGS
Caraciollo’s 100 00X – 1 2 0
Yellow Springs Hardware 002 83X – 13 12 0
2B – Harker, McCall, Williams, Neri. 3B – Long. HR – Long 2. RBI – Gargon; Reffner, Long 3, Neri, Harker 2, McCall 2, Willaims, Lower 2.