By Eric Shultz
For The Daily Item
HERNDON -- Berwick may have been the favored team on paper, but it took about half a game for it to show on the scoreboard.
In an American Legion contest between two short-handed squads with one substitute each, Berwick (3-2) shook off an early deficit and found its stride in a huge fourth inning to defeat Line Mountain (1-4), 18-6, in 6 innings.
Berwick's fourth frame yielded 11 runs in 15 plate appearances.
It all started when starting pitcher Clay DeNoia led off the inning with a double into left field. After a ground out and a walk, Berwick's bats came alive, racking up four consecutive hits before reliever Zach Bobb stepped in and walked Kevin Laubach to load the bases.
After Cody Talanca reached on a fielder's choice, DeNoia came to the plate again and had another double drop in center field. DeNoia and three more runs scored before Bobb forced a ground out to end the inning.
Line Mountain coach Sam Strause said he thought pitcher T.J. Harris, starting for the first time, was simply fatigued on the mound during the rally.
"I figured Harris would probably go about five innings, maybe," Strause said. "And I was trying to think what we could do after Harris, since we have a few pitchers away."
"He was getting a little bit tired," Strause added. "I brought Zach in to try and hold it where it was hopefully, and it just didn't work out."
The 2-for-2 inning highlighted an impressive day for DeNoia, who finished 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
"He normally doesn't bat. If we would've had more guys, he wouldn't have hit today," Berwick coach Joe Papada said. "He just had a great game at the plate."
Facing a 14-4 deficit entering the bottom of the fourth, Line Mountain needed to plate at least one run to keep the game going. It did just that, on a two-RBI double to right field by Matt Howerter that scored Garrett Hepner and Danny Adams.