By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
MONTOURSVILLE -- Macklin Ayers took a powerful cut on a ball on the outer half of the plate, ripping the pitch for a three-run home run.
Ayers' home run kick-started Upper Dauphin's offense in the second inning en route to a 9-3 victory over Danville in the loser's bracket final of the Section 3 Age 10-11 Division tournament at Lyter Field.
The win gives Upper Dauphin another crack at Montoursville, whom it lost to in the opening round of the Section 3 tournament, today at Lyter Field at 5:30 p.m.
Ayers had some good fortune in front of him in the lineup as Hunter Lentz doubled and Conner Reed reached safely on an error at first base.
With two men on and no one out, Ayers made the most of the situation, sending the ball to right-center field with enough height to carry over the fence.
"(Ayers' home run) was the shot we needed," Upper Dauphin manager Jeff Lentz said.
Ayers' blast gave Upper Dauphin a 3-1 lead and his teammates did not let up. A single between two miscues on defense loaded the bases with one out after a pop-up following Ayers' home run.
The next play was an indication of the way that the bounces were falling for Upper Dauphin on Sunday. On a sacrifice fly, Maison Grow retreated to second base and headed to third as the throw came into the infield. With Bo Raho caught in a run-down between first and second, Grow broke for home and scored while Raho was safe at second.
Danville headed back to the dugout two batters later, trailing 5-1, faced with the task of rallying against arguably Upper Dauphin's top hurler, Sam Kerwin.
Kerwin nearly worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the third as Danville looked to string hits together to pull closer. Drew Sassaman hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Colton Sidler from third but Kerwin shut down the rally one at-bat later.