‘Extra’ tough loss
Saegertown outlasts Youngsville in 8 innings
YOUNGSVILLE — Back and forth they went.
Just like the heavyweight fight everybody was hoping for.
On Wednesday, it was Saegertown delivering the final blow as the Panthers erased a late deficit and escaped Davis Street Field with an 11-8, extra-inning victory over the Youngsville Eagles (11-3, 10-3 Region 2).
“Obviously this one stung to lose the way we did,” said Youngsville coach Eddie Dorunda. “But there are also plenty of positives to take from tonight. We went down early and didn’t just roll over. Everyone in the lineup battled each and every at-bat to claw back into it.”
The Panthers (13-2, 11-1 Region 2) came out swinging on Wednesday beginning the game with three straight hits and taking advantage of a pair of Youngsville errors to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Henry Shaffer had the third hit of the inning, scoring leadoff hitter Wyatt Burchill to start the scoring.
With the bases loaded in the top of the second, Youngsville suffered a big blow when a pop-up for the potential third out of the inning was dropped in foul territory. One pitch later, Saegertown’s Sully Zirkle blasted a three-run double deep to left field and the visitors were on top, 4-0.
As Dorunda said, his Eagles didn’t roll over.
Youngsville got one run back in the bottom of the third when Keegan Mesel singled to plate Matt DeSimone. However, that was run was quickly answered by the Panthers in the fourth as a sacrifice fly from Shaffer made it 5-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the complexion of the game quickly changed.
Ian Mancuso walked to start the inning and Ethan Senz came through with a one-out single. After James Johnson drew a walk to load the bases, Saegertown lifted starting pitcher Burchill in favor of Joseph Grundy.
Grundy was welcomed to the game by a three-run bases-clearing double from DeSimone that cut the deficit to just a single run. DeSimone raced to third on the throw home and scored moments later on David Manning’s RBI groundout to tie the game at 5-5. Mesel later beat out an infield single to score Nathan Lucks and give the Eagles their first lead of the game.
After recording a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth, Youngsville got back to work in the bottom, doubling its advantage on a Lucks sacrifice fly that plated Talon Mesel.
The 7-5 lead held into the final inning with Saegertown down to its last three outs.
Unwilling to go quietly, Shaffer tripled and scored on an RBI single from Zirkle to make it 7-6. Two batters later, Wyatt Shaffer grounded out to second to score Zirkle and knot things up at 7-7.
Youngsville narrowly missed out on a chance to end things in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Johnson, DeSimone and Lucks all singled loading the bases for Manning. Manning made solid contact but the ball was right at the second baseman and the third out was recorded, sending the game into extra innings.
There, Saegertown delivered the knockout punch.
Three of the first four batters in the inning reached base and Saegertown took the lead for good on Zirkle’s fifth RBI of the game, making it 8-7. Moments later, Burchill scored on a passed ball and a two-run single from Wyatt Shaffer wrapped up the Panthers’ four-run eighth inning.
The Eagles didn’t go down quietly, loading the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but only one run was brought home on a sacrifice fly from Senz.
“That’s a well-coached team,” said Dorunda. “They played the field well, play small ball and have weapons at the top of their order. No need to hang our heads. If anything, we just proved to the whole region we can battle with anyone. It’s tough to beat a good team three times in a row. I’d like to see them again at the end of this month.”
The Eagles return to the diamond today, hosting Maplewood in yet another important Region 2 outing.
Burchill, p-cf, 4-3-4-0, Young, cf-1b, 4-1-1-0, H. Shaffer, 1b-3b, 3-3-3-2, Zirkle, lf, 4-1-2-5, Joe. Grundy, 3b-p, 4-1-0-0, W. Shaffer, ss, 4-0-1-3, Manning, dh, 5-0-3-0, Jordan, c, 0-0-0-0, Gardner, 2b, 4-0-0-0, Jon. Grundy, rf, 2-1-0-0, Crawford, ph, 1-0-0-0, Wilkinson, cr, 0-1-0-0, Totals: 35-11-14-10
James Johnson, ss, 5-1-2-0, Matt DeSimone, cf, 3-2-2-3, Nathan Lucks, c-p, 3-1-3-1, David Manning, p-1b, 4-0-0-1, Keegan Mesel, 1b-c, 5-1-4-2, Wyatt Dalrymple, 2b, 5-0-3-0, Ian Mancuso, 3b, 3-1-0-0, Talon Mesel, rf, 4-1-1-0, Ethan Senz, lf, 4-1-1-1, Aidan Mancuso, cr, 0-0-0-0, Totals: 36-8-16-8
Saegertown 130 100 24 — 11 14 1
Youngsville 001 510 01 — 8 16 3
2b–Matt DeSimone (Y), HShaffer (S), Burchill (S), Zirkle (S). W–Joe. Grundy. L–Nathan Lucks.