NEW BERLIN — Some teams might be thrown off by a slow start and an early deficit.
Selinsgrove simply dug in and began finding ways to fight back.
Getting seven shutout innings of three-hit relief from Jacob Anders and Josh Domaracki, Selinsgrove shrugged off its early deficit by scoring nine unanswered runs, and getting contributions up and down the order while banking a 10-4 victory over Danville in a game between unbeatens Saturday at New Berlin Recreation Complex.
Selinsgrove is exactly where it hoped to be when the District 13 Junior Little League Baseball tournament began to unfold last weekend — sitting unbeaten and waiting for everyone else to come to them.
Anders and Sylvan Martin registered two hits apiece for Selinsgrove (2-0), which can capture the District 13 crown Wednesday by defeating the winner of Monday’s must-win contest between Mifflinburg (2-1) and Danville (1-1).
Selinsgrove’s Max Maurer and Ben Malehorn delivered clutch pinch hits that chased home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Bronson Krainak’s two-run double in the home half of the first highlighted a four-run burst that chased starter Mark Pastore and, once Nick Kohler worked Anders for a two-out, bases-loaded walk, had Danville in front by a 4-1 count.
That was it, as Danville never put more than one runner aboard the rest of the way.
“It took a little time for Jake to get in the rhythm, but once he settled in he pitched well,” Selinsgrove manager Shawn Felty said. “Obviously Josh came in to close it out and keep Jake’s pitch count low (68), so that helped out in our pitching. We wanted to try to give Mark an opportunity.
“As this tournament goes deeper, you need to make sure you’ve got a lot of arms so we’re trying to sneak some other kids in there to see what they can do.”
Anders yielded two hits during his five innings, walking a pair soon after taking over for Pastore while ringing up nine strikeouts. Domaracki came on in the sixth for Anders and faced just seven hitters, fanning four while conceding a single hit.
“(Anders) hid his curveball really well behind his ear,” Danville manager Rob Krainak said. “Threw lots of strikes. Where we were able to work the first pitcher and get on base, next guy pitched a great game.”
Selinsgrove pulled even in the fourth after Bronson Krainak relieved starter Troy James, pulling to within a single run when Martin parachuted a 2-1 offering into right-center for a two-run single that chased home Pastore and Ben Gearhart.
And when Maurer laced a single to center that plated Martin, the game was tied.
“A few balls bounced the wrong way for us,” Rob Krainak said.
Selinsgrove added two more in the fifth off Ryan Roney as Malehorn’s pinch-double delivered Anders with the go-ahead run and Gearhart — he reentered for Malehorn — scampered home from second when a throwing error allowed Martin to reach.
“We had two big hits from Ben Malehorn and Max Maurer,” Felty said. “They came in and did the job, in terms of off the bench. … It was just a good team effort today.”
Selinsgrove added four more runs in the seventh, loading the bases on Anders’ double, a walk to Gearhart and Martin’s single.
While Owen Santiago’s bouncer to third plated the first run and upped Selinsgrove’s lead to 7-4, the next two came in on a wild pitch and a passed ball. When Domaracki bounced out, Santiago rushed home with Selinsgrove’s 10th and final run.
Several minutes later, following a pair of strikeouts, Domaracki induced bouncer to second that ended the game, and left Selinsgrove as the lone unbeaten in the tournament.
“We’ll get back to work on Monday and get them ready for Wednesday’s game — and see who we face,” Felty said. “Obviously, both teams are very good and we’ve seen both of them. They’re going to duel it out on Monday and we’ll see who we get.”
Danville, meanwhile, faces a must-win situation.
“Come back Monday and do it all over again,” Rob Krainak said. “We’ll play a good Mifflinburg team Monday night. We’ll see how we can hit the ball.”
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
District 13 Junior Division
SELINSGROVE 10, DANVILLE 4
Selinsgrove`100`320`4 — 10-7-3
Danville`400`000`0 — 4-4-4
Mark Pastore, Jacob Anders (1), Josh Domaracki (6) and Tucker Teats. Troy James, Bronson Krainak (4), Ryan Roney (5), Colten McNeal (7) and Conner Kipple.
WP: Anders. LP: Roney. S: Domaracki.
Selinsgrove: Sylvan Martin 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Anders 2-for-4, double, 2 runs; Ben Malehorn 1-for-1, double, RBI; Max Maurer 1-for-2, RBI.
Danville: Krainak 1-for-4, run, double, 2 RBIs; Kipple 1-for-4, run, RBI; James 1-for-3, run, double; Weston Whapham 1-for-2.