The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

July 5, 2014

Little League: Selinsgrove Majors claims Area II title with win over Mifflinburg

NORTHUMBERLAND — Logan Hile could hardly wait for the home plate umpire to give the “ready for play” signal.

Once he got the green light to start his windup, Hile raced through his motion and heard the sweet pop of the ball smacking Wyatt Metzger’s mitt again and again.

Hile struck out nine over three innings to lead Selinsgrove to a 10-0 win over Mifflinburg in the District 13 Area II Major Division Championship at Acorn Park on Saturday.

“It feels good (to get the championship),” Hile said. “I’m happy that I could pitch good throughout the tournament and that my team could score runs for me in each inning.”

Hile mentioned that the Selinsgrove team has played together for close to four years, an intangible that has paid off with a chance to play for a district championship.

“It’s nice that I get to play with the greatest team ever,” Hile said.

Hile worked every inch of the strike zone, hitting his spots and running just one three-ball count among the 12 hitters he faced.

While the Selinsgrove hurler used his fastball to his advantage for much of the outing, Gavin Enders gave Hile a battle to open the game for Mifflinburg. Catching up with the heater, Enders fouled off pitch after pitch, forcing Hile to work harder to retire the pesky Mifflinburg leadoff batter. After pounding the strike zone, Hile caught Enders looking at the 10th pitch of the at-bat for the first out.

“He responded nicely (after the Enders at-bat),” Selinsgrove coach Matt Metzger said. “The boys responded real nicely with the bats.”

Hile walked back to the dugout without allowing a run and watched his teammates provide some early run support. Wyatt Metzger singled on the 10th pitch of his at-bat and Selinsgrove loaded the bases after Evan Hoke worked a one-out walk. Christian Kantz laced a single back through the middle to give Selinsgrove an early 3-0 lead.

Working with a lead, Hile established his mark with his fastball, striking out the side in the second inning on 12 pitches.

“(The run support) helps me calm down a lot, that my team can score me runs in the first inning,” Hile said. “I don’t feel as nervous when I come out onto the field.”

Hile’s quick work on the mound allowed Selinsgrove’s offense to stay hot at the plate. Selinsgrove batted around in the home half of the inning, with Hile helping himself with a single. He later came around to score.

Nick Sheaffer and Hile led off the inning with hits and Josh Nylund cleared the bases, sending a pitch deep to left field for a three-run home run. The Selinsgrove second baseman reached base safely in each of his three plate appearances out of the leadoff spot.

Selinsgrove pushed two additional runs across in the inning to take an 8-0 lead into the third.

Hile was replaced on the mound by Hoke in the fourth inning after Hile finished his outing the same way he had started — with a strikeout.

Hoke worked around a runner on third with two outs, snagging a chopper back to the mound and firing over to first to keep the shutout intact.

After Selinsgrove loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, Hoke and Schon raced home to seal the win when a pitch rolled to the backstop.

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