The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 3, 2012

American Legion state playoffs: Milton eliminated by Spring City

BOYERTOWN — It was just one of those innings for Milton ace Cody Shaffer. But a three-run second epitomized the rest of Friday’s game for the Region 5 champions, who could not get things going and had a few breaks go against them.

When it was all said and done, Milton Legion suffered a season-ending defeat, 11-0, at the hands of 2010 state champion Spring City.

Shaffer, who started Milton’s opening-day win Tuesday against Penn Hills, went five innings and surrendered four total runs. He labored through four hit batters during his time on the mound. Pitching on just two days rest and in hot and humid weather, it appeared as though Shaffer simply ran out of gas.

Shaffer was lifted for Jeff Levitan, who came on and retired the first batter of the sixth. The reliever allowed six straight base runners on four hits and two walks while the Region 3 champions piled on four more runs during that span. Levitan, though, induced an inning-ending double play with Spring City threatening with runners at the corners.

Milton collected more hits (five) than they had in their two previous games in which they had three hits apiece. Post 71 was unable to capitalize on the few opportunities it was afforded by Spring City starting pitcher Kyle McKelvy.

Leadoff hitter Reynaldo Adames opened the game with a base hit and went to third on a single by shortstop Damian Moyer. McKelvy was able to thwart the short-lived rally by striking out the next two hitters, Jordon Bordner and Taylor Porter.

Michael Jacobs was the only other Milton hitter to reach third base. Jacobs reached on a base hit, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and took third on a single by Daniel Bridge. Milton was unable to get on the board despite a deep line drive to center by Moyer. Jacobs elected to not tag, but rather went halfway down the third-base line when the ball was hit. He had to retreat after the catch with no chance of advancement.

The game got further out of hand when Spring City added to an 8-0 lead with three more runs in the eighth. With an 11-run lead, McKelvy ended the contest early by retiring Milton in the last of the eighth.

The defeat ended a superb season for Milton. The team won the West Branch League title and followed it up with the first Region 5 championship in program history.

It was an up-and-down state tournament debut for Milton, which finished at 2-2, but it was one of the final four teams left playing in the state.

After the game, Post 71 manager Dave Byers and his coaching stuff were nothing but upbeat and continuously expressed their gratitude to their team.

“We made everything interesting. It’s been fun, and I thank you guys,” Byers told his team.

With just Adames ineligible to return next season due to age, the young team will look to improve on what has been a historic and exciting run.

In looking forward to next season, Byers set his team’s sights high, fully expecting a return to the state tournament.

“It’s going to take hard work to get back here; it’s just up to you guys,” added Byers.

With the victory, Spring City advanced to the tournament’s final day at Bear Stadium. Spring City will take on the winner of game 13 between unbeaten Doylestown and Hempfield East.

With a Doylestown victory, Spring City will remain as one of the final two teams and clinch a Mid-Atlantic National Regional Tournament berth without needing another victory. In the event of a Hempfield East win, the winner of a Spring City-Hempfield game will clinch the state’s second bid, along with Doylestown, in next week’s tournament.

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