By Eric Shultz
For The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND -- With both Berwick's and Sunbury/Northumberland's pitchers throwing the way they were, both teams were hard-pressed to put a runner in scoring position, let alone score a run.
Jake Hare and Clay DeNoia's scoreless pitching duel lasted until the sixth inning, when Berwick did just enough to notch a run on Hare. It was the only run DeNoia needed to secure a win, as Berwick (5-2) earned a 1-0 win over Sunbury/Northumberland (5-4) in Friday's American Legion contest.
Hare nearly got his way out of the sixth inning unscathed. The frame started when Berwick, which had only one hit to that point, had Anthony Melito lead off with an infield single.
The next plate appearance proved to be pivotal. Kevin Laubach had a hard ground ball misplayed by first baseman Jack Snyder, and it rolled behind him far enough for Laubach to reach first.
Two consecutive fielder's choices on ground balls later, Laubach and Joe Favata stood on third and first base, respectively.
Catcher Dan Curtin made sure he did not waste the two-out opportunity. Curtin hit a ground ball just beyond the reach of diving shortstop Logan Hall and into left field, sending Laubach home.
"I thought he hit it hard enough. Their third baseman was playing up a little bit, so he didn't have the range," said Berwick coach Joe Papada. "So the shortstop would've had to make one heck of a play. And if he does, then you just tip your hat to it."
The lone run handed the loss to Hare, who pitched effectively all game.
Hare sat Berwick's lineup down in order to start the first three innings. He did not allow a baserunner until Melito led off the fourth with a line drive just high enough to get past third base.