By Tom Robinson
For The Daily Item
HANOVER TOWNSHIP -- Milton's hopes of repeating as Pennsylvania Region 5 Senior American Legion baseball champions slipped away in the rain Monday afternoon.
Jersey Shore rallied from five runs down over the final three innings, pulling out a 13-12 victory in the 10th inning in the elimination game that trimmed the field to four teams.
The final run scored on a hit batter with the bases-loaded with the teams playing in a downpour that threatened to halt play.
"That's how we lost to them in our playoffs, the same way — bottom of the last inning," Milton manager Dave Byers said. "That's my fault because I couldn't win a coin toss."
Byers said he understood the "overall situation" that had the game continuing despite hard rain in the eighth and 10th innings that may have led to stoppages in a regular-season game.
"They're trying to get a whole tournament in," Byers said. "They don't want to bring us all the way back. We have a long way to travel."
Pitching became a challenge.
"It's a shame to end that way with a wet ball," Byers said. " … But they had the same problem earlier.
"It's tough to throw a curveball with a wet ball. You're limited."
Milton led by as much as 9-4 after six innings with the help of a 3-for-5 effort by Cody Shaffer, who hit the team's first home run of the season in the first inning.
Despite scoring in five of six at-bats from the fourth to the ninth inning, Milton could not finish off Jersey Shore.
"I'm beaming with pride over the way they battled all year long," Byers said. "We played eight games in seven days.
"The kids kept coming out and playing their hearts out. They got us here again — two years in a row."