MOUNT WOLF — Memorial Day is a time for people to honor those who died in service of this country.
It’s also a perfect day for the local sandlot baseball leagues to play some games during the middle of the day.
For the Jefferson Titans, however, this Memorial Day will be remembered a little more fondly.
Facing rival Mount Wolf, the Titans figured it could be a long day, knowing they were facing Wolves ace Dan Dierdorff, who has always seemed to have Jefferson’s number.
Except for this holiday.
The Titans were finally able to get the best of Dierdorff on a sunny day at Rock Brenner Field. Jefferson managed to piece together five runs on six hits to knock the Mount Wolf starter out of the game in the third inning.
Things didn’t get any better for the home team after that. The visitors added 11 more hits against a pair of Mount Wolf relievers in what ended up a 12-4 Central League triumph.
Jefferson extended its winning streak to three with the victory. The Titans improved to 3-1-1.
“Today it just seemed the gaps opened for us and our guys, the stuff they hit, was just falling down,” Jefferson right fielder Steve Gentile III said. “They had some guys throwing strikes and we happened to put some good swings on them. It felt good.”
Gentile was one of three Jefferson players to finish with three hits for the contest, along with second baseman Jared Kashner and right fielder Scott Trail. Those three also combined to drive in seven total runs.
Getting that kind of production vs. Dierdorff was extra special.
“Usually we get one or two runs tops against (Dierdorff),” Gentile said. “Sometimes we’re lucky if we can get anyone on base out there against him. Maybe it’s still early in the season or something, but he left some balls up that we could hit and we’re all happy about it.”
A good chunk of the damage against Dierdorff was done in the third inning. Already ahead 1-0, Trail laced a one-out single that scored Colin Porter. After Jordan Witmer was hit by a pitch, Tyler Troxel roped a single that plated Trail.
Gentile was the one to knock out Dierdorff when he ripped a single into the right-center gap that scored Witmer and Troxel to put Jefferson ahead 5-0.
For good measure, the Titans broke the game open in the seventh. The visitors sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring six times. The big blow was a two-run single by Kashner.
“When you get three hits from your guys hitting 7-8-9, that’s when you can score a lot of runs,” said Gentile, who batted seventh. “We set the table for the guys at the top, for guys like Colin and those guys, to bring you around.”
The victory was definitely a cause for celebration for the visitors, although their post-game refreshments were less than typical. Perhaps the guys were preparing for a different outcome?
“We have some cold beverages here, but we’re low on stock,” Gentile said. “I guess that tells you what they were thinking what the score would be, as we don’t have a lot of beer today.”
Gentile, however, didn’t believe that problem would be long-lived.
“We’ll probably find a way to fire up some meats and drink some adult beverages like normal Americans do,” he said.
Dierdorff, Dustin Kuhn and Devin Blymire each collected two hits for the home team. Kuhn drove in three of his team’s runs while Dierdorff drove in the other with one of his two doubles.
Notes: The Titans are starting to warm up to their new retro-style uniforms. Similar to the old Houston Astros jerseys of the 1980s, the jerseys feature green and orange horizontal stripes. The numbers on the back a similar to the ones used by the Toronto Blue Jays, with a the numbers split by a white line in the middle.
“This is definitely a little different,” Gentile said. “They’re comfortable, though. And you have to play good when you start wearing stuff like this because if you start playing bad, that’s the easiest thing to start pointing at.”
Mount Wolf’s Jesse Sargen was forced to leave the game in the fifth inning. Sargen dislocated his right shoulder on an attempt to catch a foul ball down the right-field line. It was the second time that happened to Sargen, who was driven to a local medical facility shortly thereafter.
Stoverstown 4, Shiloh 3: At Stoverstown, Brandon Warner scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI fielder's choice by Levi Krause. Warner got on first by a bunt single, then stole second and made his way to third on a single by Ryan Kehr. Teammate Daryl Harang picked up the win on the mound, in relief of starting pitcher Kehr in the fifth. Harang struck out out seven and walked one. Kehr struck out five and walked one. Stoverstown also picked up two RBIs from J.W. Besore. For Shiloh, Cole Bixler went 2 for 4, including a double, with one RBI. Chase James went 2 for 4, while Walker Montieth doubled.
Manchester 4, Glen Rock 3: At Manchester, Austin Allison led the home team to the victory by going 3 for 3, including a double and a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth, which ended up being the eventual winning runs. Also for Manchester, Trey McWilliams went 2 for 4, Matt Jordan doubled and Jeremy Pagano, Kenny Kopp and Dan Sepic combined to pitch a five-hitter. For Glen Rock, Brad McCullough went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.