By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
NORTHUMBERLAND -- Upper Dauphin's offense was firing on all cylinders.
Upper Dauphin scored 15 runs on 19 hits in a 15-3 victory over South Columbia in the Section 3 9-10 tournament at Acorn Park on Tuesday.
With their offense clicking in high gear, Upper Dauphin's ability to win came down to pitching and unfortunately for South Columbia, Upper Dauphin's arms were working as well as its bats.
Upper Dauphin showed that the 19 runs it scored against Wellsboro on Monday was not a fluke, hanging 15 on a South Columbia squad that battled in its first win over Keystone on Monday.
"Our offense has been on fire," Upper Dauphin manager Bryan Evans said.
Evans added that he felt his defense played well, saying that its carried Upper Dauphin this season.
With two outs in the fourth, Tyler Cleveland threw off Eli Morrison's timing at the plate for a strikeout to finish off a victory.
Although it was only one pitch -- albeit the one that ended the game -- Cleveland's strikeout was a microcosm of the whole game.
Upper Dauphin kept South Columbia off balance on defense and pounded out hits relentlessly during its time in the batter's box. Scoring at least two runs in every inning, Upper Dauphin quickly built a lead and established control of the game.
Hitting well allowed Nathan Wise to look up at a five-run lead before he took the mound to throw his first pitch of the game. With the way that Wise pitched, the first-inning scoring would have been more than enough. Over 3 2/3 innings, Wise struck out five while only running into trouble in the third inning but rebounded to get within one out of a complete game before Cleveland took over.
Upper Dauphin's approach of swinging hard and early in the count did not allow Patrick Yost to settle into a groove on the mound for South Columbia, leading to a five-run first as 11 batters came to the plate.