UNION CITY - A highly successful 2013 all-star season came to a close for the Warren Boys Minors Americans on Wednesday with a 15-6 loss to Harborcreek, at the Section 1 Tournament in Union City.
Warren finishes pool play in the Section 1 bracket with a 1-2 record. The top two teams in pool play - Harborcreek (3-0) and Clarion (2-1) - will meet for the Section 1 title at 7 p.m., Thursday, in Union City.
Despite the way things ended Wednesday, it was a great postseason run for the local team. The Americans played nine games, winning six of them and capturing the District 10 title with a 21-0 thrashing of Brookville last week.
For a great while on Wednesday, it appeared as if the Warren team was going to give itself at least a shot to play in Thursday's title game. Ben Salapek pitched well from the start in Wednesday's game, keeping Harbor Creek guessing and helping his team to a 4-1 lead through three innings.
Warren took the lead in the first when Ryan Rafalski doubled and eventually came around to score on Salapek's RBI single. Although Harborcreek answered with a run in the top of the second, it didn't take Warren long to go back on top by a run. In the bottom of the second, Alex Borger led off with a hit and eventually scored on Tyler Gustafson's run-scoring hit.
The one-run cushion was pushed to three runs in the bottom of the third where Micah Passmore led off with a single, Salapek walked and Jacob DeSimone was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hunter Loomis worked an RBI walk to make it 3-1 and Max Conklin's RBI single gave Warren a 4-1 lead through the midway point of the game.
For Warren, that's where the good news ended.
Harborcreek tied the game with three runs in the top of the fourth, but it was the top of the fifth that ultimately decided the game. Harborcreek pushed eight runs across the dish in the inning and wouldn't be challenged the rest of the way.
The Americans kept fighting, scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth despite trailing 15-4 entering the inning. Gustafson and Rafalski led off with walks and Passmore reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. DeSimone and Loomis then each drew a bases loaded walk to account for Warren's final runs of the 2013 all-star season.
Harborcreek 010 382 - 15 13
Warren 112 002 - 6 6
2b-Ryan Rafalski (W), Merrick Bauer (H), Cam Williamson (H). WP-Aiden Kelly. LP-Rafalski.