The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 2, 2013

High School Baseball: Letizel, defense lead Wildcats over Ironmen

(Continued)

Leitzel retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced with Scott Heeter fouling off six two-strike pitches to walk in a 12-pitch at-bat. Only five other Ironmen reached base and Leitzel struck out just three, meaning the Wildcats defense handled the other 18 outs.

"(I) just throw strikes and try to give up the least hits as possible," Leitzel said. "Strikeouts are good, but fly balls and ground balls are just as good. I know they'll get the ball for me, that's why I don't worry about it."

Oakley Whitesel knocked in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the second inning, and Lloyd drove in a pair as Mifflinburg improved to 9-5, 5-5 HAC-I. Danville (4-7, 3-5) lost its fourth consecutive game.

"This came down to opportunities," said Ironmen coach Devin Knorr. "That's the name of the game: You have to take advantage of the opportunities you have, you have to limit the opportunities other teams have.

"Really, after the first couple innings they didn't have many. We dug ourselves a real big hole with a tough play we've got to make and big hit. That's the ballgame."

The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the first inning with two walks and a catcher's interference call, but they didn't score. An inning later they filled the bases again and got on the board when Lloyd was hit by a pitch. Whitesel then crushed a 1-1 pitch to the gap in right-center for a 4-0 lead.

"Their big stick comes up and hits a ball in the gap, (and) all of a sudden it's 4-0 in a heartbeat," said Knorr. "We get a chance to do some damage with two outs and bases loaded and we hit a double-play ball."

Lloyd, who doubled in a two-out run in the bottom of the fourth, likely saved two runs in the top of the inning when he ranged behind the bag at second to take a sure hit away from Heeter.

"Brady goes and gets a lot of balls that people probably wouldn't ever get," said Church.

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