BROOKVILLE - The Warren Boys Minors Americans are one win away from winning the District 10 championship, after a 5-1 road victory, Saturday, in Brookville.
The Americans (4-0) return to action at 6 p.m., Wednesday, at Betts-Jackson Field in Warren. Opposing Warren will be either the all-stars from Bradford or Brookville. Warren has already defeated both teams this postseason.
Brookville struck first in Saturday's game, scoring an early run off starter Ryan Rafalski and holding a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third. There, Warren was able to use one of the game's biggest hits to draw even.
Photo submitted to the Times Observer
Right on it
Warren Boys Minors Americans all-star Alex Borger makes contact with a Brookville pitch during a winner’s bracket finals matchup between the teams, Saturday, in Brookville. Warren advanced to the District 10 finals with a 5-1 victory and will play the winner of Monday’s Bradford vs. Brookville contest for the district championship at 6 p.m., Wednesday, at Betts-Jackson Field.
Ben Salapek reached on a fielder's choice and was able to advance to second on a Brookville passed ball. That set the table for Jacob DeSimone who crushed a run-scoring double to the outfield, bringing home Salapek and tying the game at 1-1.
After Micah Passmore shut down Brookville in the top of the fourth, the opportunistic Americans plated three runners in the bottom of the fourth to take control of the game.
Hunter Loomis led off with a single up the middle and Ethan Wilson followed with a bunt single of his own. James Swanson was up next and his bunt attempt was good enough for all players to reach safely, loading the bases.
Brookville 100 000 - 1 4
Warren Americans 001 31x - 5 6
2b-Jacob DeSimone (W), Chase Palmer (B). WP-Micah Passmore. LP-Jack Krug.
Warren would take the lead for good on one of the wackier plays in the game. After a pitch, the Brookville catcher tossed an errant throw that got away from the Brookville pitcher. That allowed Loomis to race home from third, making the score 2-1.
After the error, Tyler Gustafson followed with a deep sacrifice fly that scored Wilson, extending the lead to 3-1. The very next batter in the game struck out, but even that would produce a run for the Americans. The catcher rolled the ball back to the moumd, thinking the punchout was the third out of the inning. Despite the fact that only two were out, the Brookville pitcher also began to jog off the field. The momentary lapse allowed a third run to score and Warren led, 4-1.
The Americans added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth after DeSimone collected his second hit of the game and Max Conklin reached on a fielder's choice. Conklin then attempted to steal second, drawing a throw from the catcher and making it possible for DeSimone to score from third, making it 5-1.
Salapek entered the game in the sixth and quickly shut down Brookville to punch Warren's ticket to the finals.
The Americans will enter the finals with a significant advantage. The winner of Monday's game between Bradford and Brookville would have to beat Warren twice to eliminate the local team from the tournament.