Lansford edges JT to advance
A team's heart and determination can simply be measured when adversity strikes during the course of a ball game.
The Lansford 11 and 12 year old baseball squad, which has been fighting to win ball games all summer, showed Jim Thorpe that when adversity strikes they will strike back.
After giving up a four-run lead in the third inning, Lansford rallied to score two runs and eliminate the Olympians from the District 18 tournament by a score of 6-4.
The Lansford success started in the second inning.
Pitcher Matt Day only gave up one hit in the inning, but the JT defense struggled committing two errors, allowing Lansford two score three runs. The Jim Thorpe defense had some problems throughout the day and constantly gave Lansford opportunities to score.
"To be honest defense has been our problem all season," said Jim Thorpe coach Joe Marykwas. "We didn't play well defensively against Weatherly either, but we just hit the ball and were able to put 20 runs on the board. We just fell apart in that third inning and that was the difference in the ball game."
The old adage "Great things come in small packages" certainly pertains to Lansford pitcher Jonathan Hafer. Hafer fired pitch after pitch into the JT strikezone on Wednesday evening and never backed down when the game was on the line. He pitched 5 innings, giving up five hits, and striking out seven.
"Jonathan has pretty much been in the zone coming down the stretch," said Lansford coach Tim Goida. "He's always right around the plate and he always succeeds when he throws his off speed stuff for strikes. We played these guys during the regular season so we kind-of knew what their hitters could do and Jonathan went out there and executed for us."
As noted, Jim Thorpe battled back to tie the ball game at four a piece in the third inning. The trouble for Lansford started when Sawyer Knox slapped a double into right field and the Jim Thorpe rally was on. Jim Thorpe would get four hits in the inning and a a big two-run single from number two hitter Justin Marykwas to help knot the game.
"After Jim Thorpe tied it up in the third I was worried about heads hanging and maybe losing a few kids," said Goida. "I'm proud of the guys for battling back and our pitcher gave us the opportunity to take the lead."
Lansford used the fourth to reclaim the lead from the Olympians.
Another Olympian error and two hits from Wyatt Zimmerman and Zak Kindt gave Lansford a 6-4 lead, which they would never relinquish.
Jim Thorpe actually had runners on first and second with just one out in the bottom of the sixth, but back-to-back fly balls in the infield sealed the victory for Lansford.
Lansford 031 200 - 6 4 1
Jim Thorpe 004 000 - 4 5 4
Hafer, Zimmerman (6), and Jungbaer; Day, Rosahac (6), and Mahmode. W - Hafer L - Day.