The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 17, 2014

American Legion Baseball: Sunbury/Norry beats Catawissa

NORTHUMBERLAND — Everybody was ready to go for Monday’s 5:45 p.m. start for the Susquehanna Valley American Legion contest between Catawissa and Sunbury/Northumberland.

Everybody, that is, but the umpires, who were accidentally sent to Southern Columbia High School for the game.

Until replacement umpires arrived, Sunbury/Northumberland’s Jake Hare didn’t throw the first pitch of the game until 6:24, a 36-minute delay that affected the big right-hander.

“It definitely threw me off. I was warmed up and ready to go, then we didn’t start on time,” Hare said. “I had to keep loose (during the delay) and I think I threw too much.”

Hare struggled with his control early, allowing a Catawissa run without a hit in the top of the first, but settled in to pitch five strong innings, while Nick Dunn scored two runs as Sunbury/Northumberland downed Catawissa 3-2 in a game halted after 5 ½ innings due to lighting at Pineknotter Park.

“I think we were a little thrown off from the start. We were in our normal routine and the umpire snafu happened. It just kind of threw things off,” Sunbury/Northumberland manager Travis Fisher said. “I say this every single time Jake pitches. He battles. He throws strikes and he expects his fielders to make the plays behind him.”

After two walks and 26 first-inning pitches, Hare settled into a groove, retiring the side in order in back-to-back innings on just 23 pitches, before running into problems in the fifth inning.

“It was just a matter of getting into a groove. The delay really did throw me off,” Hare said. “Trying to stay warm (during the delay) really tired me out.”

Hare finished the game allowing four hits and two earned runs, while striking out four and walking three.

Catawissa (1-2) struck first with a run in the top of the first when the first two hitters — Kyle Mostik and Steve Toczylousky — walked. After an out, Mostik stole third and later came home on the back end of a double steal for a 1-0 advantage.

Sunbury/Northumberland tied the game in the bottom of the first. After the first two hitters were retired on five pitches, Dunn singled. An errant pickoff throw moved him to second. Jean Turber then singled Dunn home. An error in right field put Turber on third with two outs, but Catawissa pitcher John Wilson escaped further issues with a strikeout to end the inning.

Sunbury/Northumberland (6-1) took the lead with two runs in the third inning. Matt Snyder hit a ground-rule double to left field and Dunn made it 2-1 with a hustling double to right field. After stealing third, Dunn scored on a wild pitch to give Sunbury/Northumberland a 3-1 advantage.

Catawissa got a run back in the top of the fifth. No. 8-hitter Andrew Haupt walked and Nate Kehoe singled. After a force at second and a foul out to the catcher, Blake Marks singled home a run to cut the lead to 3-2 before Hare escaped a second-and-third, two-out jam with a groundout to end the threat.

“This isn’t my regular team, we have a lot of kids on vacation,” Catawissa manager Steve Toczylousky said. “I was playing a lot of young kids and they adjusted and really came through later in the game.”

Tylor Dzwonchyk worked the sixth inning for the save, though Catawissa did threaten with two outs, getting back-to-back singles from Jake Ryan and Haupt. Dzwonchyk got a strikeout to end the threat.

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