Hegins rallies past Lansford
Lansford had victory at the tip of their fingers on Friday, but then let it slip right through their hands.
The local team hosted defending champion Hegins in a Schuylkill Teener League junior semifinal playoff game.
Lansford had a lead going into the final inning, but a couple of walks and four errors in a row allowed the Tri-Valley squad to escape with a 7-4 victory.
Going into the seventh, Lansford led 4-1.
Then things went wrong.
Hegins coach Shawn Masser was relieved to escape with the win.
“We left a lot of runners in scoring position,” Masser said. “We had one more crack.
“Luckily for us, they didn’t make some of the plays, and that’s the way it goes.”
Hegins broke the ice in the first inning with a run when Lucas Scheib bounced the ball over the left field fence, sending home Layne Yoder, who was at second due to back-to-back walks.
But Lansford showed the determination they’ve had all year to become the No. 2 seed in the playoffs (Hegins was No. 3).
In the bottom of the second, Tyler Black walked and scored on a sonic-boom double by Matt Engler. Brody Breiner singled, sending Engler to third. Then Engler and Breiner scored on a double to the left field fence by Brennan Kunkel.
It wasn’t until the sixth that anyone plated another run. Lansford’s Hayden Goida walked, stole second and came flying home on a deep fly ball to center by Black.
Then the roof caved in in the seventh. Hegins scored their six runs with only one base hit during their last at bat.
In the bottom of the seventh, there was a spark of optimism for Lansford when Chase Weaver reached first on a two-out single, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Lansford head coach Tim Goida was at a loss for words at the way everything transpired.
“I don’t know what to say,” Goida said. “We haven’t seen anything like that all year – four errors, two walks. I thought we were in a good position going into the seventh inning up three runs.”
Masser conveyed praise to Lansford.
“That Lansford team, from the coaches through the players, are a great team,” he said.
He said he was pleased with his team, considering part of his roster consists of legitimate Little Leaguers as a result of losing numbers from last year through age.
Goida also was happy that Lansford got as far as it did.
It was the second straight year they were in the playoffs, losing to Hegins in the finals last year.
“We made a good run,” he said. “At least guys around here got to play baseball. I know a lot of places around the country they’re not playing at all.
“We got a full season and then the playoffs. It didn’t end the way we wanted, but all these kids will be back at it again next year, giving their all again.”
SAME PITCHERS AS THURSDAY ... Lansford used the same pitchers on Friday as they did in Thursday’s game against Pottsville Black. Brady Jones started in both games. Brody Breiner and Black were relievers. In Friday’s game, Weaver also came in for relief.
FIVE HITS EACH ... Both teams had only five base hits. Three of Lansford’s came in the second inning. No other ones came until the sixth (single by Engler) and seventh (single by Weaver). Lansford left only four batters stranded on base during the game. Hegins had 10 left on base. Only Engler had two hits for Lansford - a single and a double.
Hegins 100 000 6 - 7 5 0
Lansford 030 001 0 - 4 5 7
Wehry, Yoder ( 6) and Schwartz; Jones, Breiner (5), Black (7) Weaver (7) and Goida (2), Engler (5) and Goida (7). W - Yoder. L - Black.