Lansford's Hunter Nauss slides into third base in the second inning as White Haven's Mike Lunney waits for the throw. Nauss scored Lansford's lone run of the day in a 4-1 loss. Bob Ford/ TIMES NEWS
Over the course of the District 18 11-12 year old Little League Tournament, Lansford had seen different things either help it or hurt it.
In the opening round of the tourney, it benefitted from solid pitching and a display of timely hits to earn a victory.
A game later, Lansford was doomed by walks and mental miscues on the baseball field and suffered a setback.
Last evening however, White Haven was the one who scattered those timely hits and took advantage of a few Lansford errors to secure a 4-1 victory, eliminating Lansford from the double-elimination tournament.
"The ball that got to the center field fence got things going for them," Lansford manager Tim Goida said. "Darren (Goida) kept his pitch count down. He kept the hitters off-balance by mixing his pitches up well. However, they hit the ball when they had guys on base."
Lansford took a 1-0 lead on a bunt RBI-single by Seth Oriel to score Hunter Nause, who doubled and reached third on a throwing error.
White Haven then found the glitches in the Lansford defense to plate its runs.
With one out in the third, Mark Dixon reached on a fielding error and Joel Slediewski reached on an infield single.
The damage was done when Brett Chupka flaired a single to center field. Dixon scored cleanly and Slediewski followed right behind thanks to a fielding miscue.
Lansford threatened in the fifth against relief pitcher RJ Kresge.
After Chupka kept Lansford bats in check with seven strikeouts, the hosts tried to rally with two outs off the left-handed Kresge.
Anthony Micholik walked and then moved to third on a Sam Stanko double. Kresge got Darren Goida to ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
Kresge settled in after that, only allowing a sixth-inning single to Hunter, who ended the game as Lansford's lone multiple hitter.
"They played a great game," Goida said. "Hats off to their pitchers. I don't think they had one passed ball today. The catcher didn't give bases away and played real solid defense.
"Unfortunately, we've been trying to teach them to be patient and today we should have been jumping on that first pitch fast ball because they mixed everything up later in the count and we weren't ready for it. They kept our hitters off balance today."
With Goida creeping higher in the pitch count, regardless of recording 69 on the day, White Haven added some insurance runs in the fifth and put a win well out of Lansford's reach.
"This was one great ride," Goida said. "It really was. This was probably one of our better years in the last 10 to 15 years. They kept their heads in the game all year long, no matter the circumstances. My hats off to these kids.
"Now, we're going to come back and try to get them ready for the Valley Tournament."
Lansford 010 000 - 1 5 3
White Haven 002 02x - 4 6 2
Goida and Mazzie; Chupka, Kresge (4) and Kresge, Roberts (4). W - Chupka. L - Goida.
In another local Little League contest, West Hazleton topped Jim Thorpe 6-5.
Jim Thorpe scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead and went into the bottom of the sixth looking to pull out the victory. However, West Hazleton scored twice to come from behind and force extra innings.
West Hazleton then loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh where a fielder's choice error at home allowed the winning run to score.
Jim Thorpe managed just three hits against the West Hazleton pitching staff. All three hits were singles, coming off the bats of Jordan McElmoyle, K.J. Snerr and Kenny Pugh respectively.
Jim Thorpe 200 003 0 - 5 3 4
West Hazleton 100 202 1 - 6 5 2
Snerr, McElmoyle (6) and Carroll; Bayzick, Arias (7) and Traub. W - Arias, L - McElmoyle. HR: WH - Arias.
In another game, Franklin Township stayed alive with a 8-0 win over Anthracite.
No information was received by THE TIMES NEWS.