By Eric Shultz
For The Daily Item
MONTOURSVILLE -- Montoursville had its first six batters set down in order, with four outs staying inside the infield.
Upper Dauphin pitcher Coleton Gessner breezed through those first six at-bats, making it to the third frame on 14 pitches. But then Montoursville finally reached base, scored some runs and won Friday's Little League 10-11 division Section 3 tournament game, 4-1.
"We played a great game. We played defense well, we made some plays," said Upper Dauphin manager Jeff Lentz. "I told them, that's just the way baseball is. You can play a very good team, you can be a good team (and) sometimes it's going to go your way, and sometimes it's not."
Montoursville's win was fueled by its third inning.
With one out and a runner on first, Mason Sechrist put two runners in scoring position with a double that reached the left field wall, barely staying fair. That set up Montoursville's first run, which came when Jaxon Dalena grounded out but scored Jake Simms. In the next at-bat, Logan Ott hit a chopper that bounced over first base and carried into right field, scoring Sechrist.
Montoursville assistant coach Mitch Wood said he thought the team relaxed at the plate in the third, compared to the brief first and second innings.
The double was the first of two RBIs for Ott, who finished 2-for-3 on the day.
Ott stretched Montoursville's lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning when he hit another double on a line drive to left field, driving in Dalena. Ott, who started at catcher, also tossed two innings of relief, notching two strikeouts.
"You can put him anywhere, without any practice," Wood said. "He's fearless, and there's a reason he's batting second."
"He just kind of knows what he's doing on the baseball field, that's all there is to it," Wood added.
Despite the loss, Lentz said he saw a lot of composure in Gessner, who struck out four and allowed six hits in a complete game.
But after stranding two runners in the first inning, Upper Dauphin had a tough time at the plate. The team did not record another hit on starter Hunter Shearer until the fourth inning, when its lone run was scored.
With Sam Kerwin on first base to start the fourth, Connor Reed bunted and reached first base. A fielding error at the bag moved both runners one base, and Gessner hit an RBI-single through the middle to bring in Kerwin. A walk loaded the bases with two outs, but Shearer threw a strikeout to end the inning with the lead intact.
Montoursville's final run came in the sixth, when C.J. Signor led off with a home run to left field on the inning's first pitch.
It was another play that Wood said he thought relaxed the team more.
"That one run felt bigger than that, let's put it that way," he said. "It felt like we had the momentum right there. 4-1 felt pretty good with Logan on the mound."
With the loss, Upper Dauphin is still alive in the double-elimination tournament. It will play Potter-McKean on Saturday in an elimination game. Meanwhile, Montoursville will host Danville in Saturday's second contest at 2 p.m.