---- — By Todd Stanford
For The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND -- The Sunbury/Northumberland American Legion team exorcised some demons Friday night.
Jake Hare threw 5.1 strong innings, the top of the lineup came through with big hits, and Sunbury/Northumberland finally beat Danville, 2-0 at Pineknotter Park.
"We haven't beaten Danville in quite a while," Sunbury/Norry manager Travis Fisher said. "We challenged the kids before the game."
Sunbury/Norry (3-2) beat Danville's Mason Fausnaught, who took the loss despite yielding just five singles in six innings while striking out eight.
"We've really had trouble with Mason Fausnaught the last couple of years," Fisher said. "I think he's given up two hits in two appearances against us (prior to Friday's game)."
The host team got all of its runs in the bottom of the first. Colby Lahr and Nick Dunn hit back-to-back, one-out singles. Dunn's base knock brought in Lahr, who had stolen second.
Blake Bettleyon then walked and Dunn soon was at third on a passed ball. Dunn came home when Bettleyon tried to steal second and the throw from home was misplayed and rolled into the outfield.
That would be all the support Hare would need. He struck out only three, but he kept the ball low in the strike zone and let his defense do the rest.
"I threw strikes and my defense helped me out a lot," Hare said. "We've had a little trouble (with Danville) in high school and we've had trouble with them ... in Legion, so it feels great."
"Jake Hare pitched a phenomenal game," Fisher added. "That's the second game in a row he's looked as good as he has. The key was getting his curveball over."
Danville (1-1) finally put some heat on Hare in the sixth after pinch-hitter Colton Riley singled to left. Tyler Fisher flew out to center for the first out before Shayne Riley and Fausnaught both walked to load the bases. Fisher then replaced Hare with Jack Snyder, who struck out Cody Keefer and Scott Heeter to get out of the jam.
"What can you say about Jack coming in with the bases loaded and one out and striking out two guys?" Fisher said. "That was a phenomenal situation for him to shine in."
Danville also got its leadoff batter on base in the seventh, as Bryson Cromley drilled a single off Snyder. But Lahr, the catcher, threw Cromley out at second on a steal attempt, and Snyder ended the game with a strikeout and a liner to short.
"We've very young," Danville manager Harold Albertson said. "But we're coming, we're coming. ... It was just a good Legion baseball game."