Lansford falls to Hegins in league finals
Lansford’s Robert Wieand slides under the tag at third base against Hegins. Jake Tietsworth is the third baseman. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Lansford’s Chase Weaver lays down a bunt against Hegins. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Last week, Lansford brought a 23-game win streak by Hegins to a screeching halt in the Schuylkill County Teener League Junior Division.
But the local team couldn’t stop the Western Schuylkill squad from reapeating as the league champion.
Lansford’s Krajcirik’s lost to Hegins on Saturday, 4-2, and then again on Sunday, 9-2, after opening the best-of-three series with a win on Thursday.
In both losses, a major problem for Lansford was runners left on base. On Saturday, nine runners were stranded — five in the last two innings. On Sunday, runners were left on base in every inning – a total of 10 for the game.
Following the series, both coaches showed respect for each other.
“They’re just a good group of baseball players and it starts at the top with their coach, Shawn (Masser),” said Lansford mentor Tim Goida. Masser countered, saying, “Tim has a quality group there.”
Hegins (22-1) broke open Sunday’s deciding game with a five-run fourth inning.
It took a 2-0 lead in the first, but Lansford came back and tied it in the third with four consecutive walks contributing to one of those runs.
In the fourth, Hegins exploded for six hits, including two doubles. It was threatening for more runs, having runners at second and third with only one out, when Coach Goida made a pitching change and brought in Tyler Black. Two infield pop-ups, one to first and one to the mound, halted the scoring.
Michael Pascoe pitched the last two innings for Lansford.
Hegins had 11 hits compared to five for Lansford. Especially effective for the winners was Lucas Scheib, who went 3-for-3 including a triple.
Bradley Hood was 2-for-2 for Lansford, hitting a single and a double. He was also walked and hit by a pitch.
Goida questioned two early calls by the umpiring crew and feels they took some of the steam out of the offense.
“I just feel today we were taken out mentally in the game by a few calls, and they (the team) just didn’t recover,” said Goida.
Masser said his offense was very effective.
“We hit the ball better than we did in a while, to be honest with you,” said the Hegins coach. “We knew it was going to be a battle. They’re a great team. These are two very good teams.
“The win was a team effort. Everybody came together and did what they had to do to win their last two games.”
Lansford’s Stephen Hood had one of his best outings of the season on Saturday. He struck out seven, walked just one, and helped his cause by going 3-for-3 at the plate, including two doubles.
His first two pitches were balls before he got 29 in a row over the plate.
Despite his exemplary performance, Hegins pulled out a 4-2 win, sending the series into Sunday’s rubber match.
Hood went the distance for Lansford and had strikeouts in all but the third frame.
Hegins took a 2-0 lead in the first on an error and back-to-back doubles by Kale Miller and Braxton Schwartz, with an error and fielder’s choice play figuring into the mix.
Lansford got one back in the fourth when David “Trey” McAndrew singled, went to second on a balk, stole third and came home on a Chase Weaver single.
After Hegins went up 4-1 with runs in the fifth and sixth innings, Krajcirik’s looked like it might stage another comeback like it did last week. Mike Pascoe hit a single, advanced to second when Hood walked, went to third on a Cody Orsulak single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. A strikeout and infield fly out ended the threat.
IMPRESSIVE PLAYS ... Weaver, Lansford’s shortstop, put on quite a show on Saturday. First, in a play in which he collided with a teammate, he fell, causing the ball to bounce out of his glove, but he was able to catch it with his bare hand. In the sixth, he quelled a Hegins threat by grabbing a line drive and tagging the base runner for an unassisted double play. In the final inning, he made a spectacular catch that the Hegins runner was convinced was going to get past him and completed a double play by throwing to first.
HITS FOR LANSFORD ... Getting hits for Lansford on Sunday were Bradley Hood, who had two, Stephen Hood, Drew Kokinda and Matt Engler. On Saturday, Lansford received the three hits from Steve Hood and one apiece from Weaver, Hayden Goida, Pascoe, Orsulak and McAndrew.
HELD IN CHECK ... One of the keys to Lansford’s success all season is their speed and ability to steal bases. On Sunday, for the first time this season, Krajcirik’s played a game without stealing a base.
Lansford 002 000 0 - 2 5 2
Hegins 110 520 x - 9 11 0
B. Hood, Black (4), Pascoe (5) and Pascoe, Goida (5), Engler (6). Leonad, Miller (2), Wetzel (7) and Nye. W - Miller. L - B. Hood.
Hegins 200 011 0 - 4 6 1
Lansford 001 001 0 - 2 9 1
Scheib, Miller (5) and Nye. S. Hood and Orsulak. W - Schaub. L - S. Hood.