By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Nick Shedleski squared up a pitch from Brayton Rowelle and drove the ball deep over the center-field wall, sending Lewisburg fans home happy Sunday.
Shedleski's shot was the last of three home runs in Lewisburg's 7-5 win in the opening round of the District 13 Area II Major Division tournament.
"You always want to go up there and do your best," Shedleski said.
It's hard to do much better than a game-winning, two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Shedleski had his teammates to thank for extending the game long enough for him to win it. Lewisburg went to the bottom of the sixth down 5-4 in a game that went back and forth between two equally talented squads.
Back-to-back doubles by Brock Noone and Andrew Ramirez tied the game at 5 and gave Warrior Run manager Chris Brady a decision to make. Brady decided to intentionally walk Dakotah Snyder to get to Shedleski and, well, you know the rest.
"I think when (Warrior Run) walked Dakotah, that fired up Nick a little bit," Lewisburg manager Jim Snyder said.
Shedleski started the game on the hill for Lewisburg and soon saw his counterpart, Aaron Hoover, drive a pitch near the batting cages beyond the left-field fence. After allowing the home run, Shedleski was able to work quickly through the rest of the first and second innings, racking up four strikeouts.
At the plate, Lewisburg wasted little time bailing out its hurler. The team took advantage of three first-inning errors to tie the game at 2 and benefited from another miscue in the second to take a 3-2 lead.
After Warrior Run pushed across the tying run in the third, its struggles on defense continued. A dropped third strike in the fourth inning stung them when Robbie Lentz, who reached on the play, later scored to put Lewisburg back on top, 4-3.
It appeared that Hoover might become a hard-luck loser despite allowing only one earned run.
However, just as Lewisburg had helped its pitcher, Warrior Run did the same in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Hoover singled and Rowelle, who had taken over on the mound in the fourth, brought him around. Rowelle smashed a four-bagger in nearly the same spot as Hoover's to give Warrior Run a lead, 5-4. Rowelle finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBIs, while Hoover added a single in the fifth inning to his first-inning home run.
"Our kids never hung their heads and they battled back," Brady said. "A couple of times in that game, their nerves got their best of them and they were able to battle back. For that, I could not be prouder."
Snyder County 2 (7 innings)
Selinsgrove watched a lead evaporate in the bottom of the fifth inning in a game destined for extras. However, Selinsgrove responded with three in the top of the seventh to grab a 5-2 win.
Back-to-back walks to start the inning put the go-ahead run on second base with no outs. After a timely fielder's choice for Snyder County to force out Blaise Zeiders at third, Wyatt Metzger drilled a two-run triple down the right-field line for the game-winning hit. Metzger scored on a groundout to shortstop to boost the score to 5-2.
Selinsgrove retired Snyder County in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Snyder County had rallied with three hits in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at two after Selinsgrove took the lead on a two-RBI single from Logan Hile in the third.