SCOTLAND -- Trevor Troxel's strong left arm and quick bat helped Spring Grove stay alive on Tuesday in the Region 4 American Legion Baseball Tournament.
Troxel battled his way through eight solid innings on the mound and added three hits (including a double) to go with two RBIs and two runs scored at the plate to lead Spring Grove to a 10-4 triumph over Hummelstown in an elimination game in the double-elimination event.
Spring Grove now advances to the final day of the tournament on Wednesday. Spring Grove will face Ephrata at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Field No. 1 in Greene Township. If Spring Grove wins that game, it will earn another shot at Waynesboro in a winner-take-all championship contest at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, again at Field No. 1 in Greene Township.
Waynesboro is the only team to beat Spring Grove in the Region 4 event, earning a 7-3 victory on Monday. Spring Grove, Ephrata and Waynesboro enter Wednesday's action with one loss each in Region 4 action. Ephrata handed Waynesboro its first loss on Tuesday, 6-3.
If Spring Grove loses either game Wednesday, its standout season will come to a close. If it wins both games, the York-Adams champions will advance to the state tournament, which starts July 31 in Boyertown.
Troxel's 135-pitch effort on Tuesday is one big reason that Spring Grove still has state playoff aspirations. He struck out 10 and walked four, while allowing nine hits and four runs.
"Trevor really gave us a gutsy performance," Spring Grove manager Matt Spangler said. "He had pitched Saturday and threw around 100 pitches. We only expected four or five innings out of him today, but he really wanted the ball. His ability to come back and give me the effort he did was tremendous. To go that long really helped the club and helped will us into (Wednesday)."
Troxel got plenty of support from his teammates. Spring Grove slugged 18 hits overall, including strong performances from Nick Spangler (4-for-5, two RBIs, one run scored), Brandon Warner (2-for-4, one run, one RBI), Levi Krause (3-for-4, one run, one RBI), Jake Molison (3-for-5, two runs) and Bradley Stagemyer (2-for-5, two RBIs, one run).
"Our ability to hit with runners in scoring position was really key," Matt Spangler said. "We only had eight hits vs. Waynesboro, but we jumped back and had 18 hits today. ... We've always bounced back after a loss and we expected to bounce back (Tuesday), which we did. Our goal was always to get to Wednesday and we got to Wednesday."
Spring Grove followed a familiar pattern in Tuesday's game vs. Hummelstown. The Papertown teens fell behind, as they have in seven of their eight postseason games. Spring Grove has now rallied to win six of those contests, including Tuesday.
Hummelstown led 3-2 after 31/2 innings, but Spring Grove tied it in the bottom of the fourth on Nick Spangler's RBI single. Spring Grove then blew it open with a four-run fifth, sparked by Troxel's two-run single and RBI singles from Nick Spangler and Warner.
Spring Grove improved to 20-3 overall, including a 3-1 mark in the Region 4 Tournament. That comes on the heels of a 4-0 record in the York-Adams Tournament.
Matt Spangler wouldn't say who would start Wednesday's game vs. Ephrata, but he did say Levi Krause was well rested and ready to go. He said Hoiles, Nick Spangler and Warner were also available to pitch.
"It's definitely a grind, playing nine-inning games every day," Matt Spangler said. "For our kids to come out today when the chips are down and their backs are against the wall was impressive. I was very proud of the way we came out and approached this game."
-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com.