By Eric Shultz
For The Daily Item
HUGHESVILLE -- Milton held off a late rally from Danville to keep its lead, one inning from victory.
The team then tacked on three insurance runs for good measure and won, 8-4, in an American Legion elimination game Tuesday. With the victory, Milton earned a berth in the Region V tournament.
Despite the number of runs, the game's first four innings did not feature much offense. Each team plated one run through four frames, with both Milton starting pitcher Mark Artley and Danville starter Mason Fausnaught keeping the opposing bats rather quiet.
"He was hitting spots," said Milton coach Dave Byers about Artley. "Even a lot of pitches that were called balls were close. I'm not saying they were strikes, don't get me wrong there, but he was making them look and try to fish maybe a little bit. So he seemed to be in complete command for a long time."
Then the fifth inning came, and Fausnaught lost his control just long enough for Milton to capitalize.
After striking out Tylor Moyer to start the fifth, Fausnaught allowed three consecutive walks. The first man on, Jarred Fogleman, was almost caught stealing before a pitch, but the throw to second went into the outfield to keep the inning at one out.
With the bases loaded, Damian Moyer hit a high chopper past third base to score two runs. Brady Chappell followed with a two-RBI hit of his own: a double ripped into left field.
Byers said Milton was fortunate everything happened how it did on Moyer's hit.
"The infield grass is thick and it takes everything down," Byers said. "But he hits in in the dirt and over the kid's head, who's playing in with the bases juiced, that too."