FREDERICKSBURG — Pleasureville entered the Region 4 American Legion baseball playoffs confident.
The Post 799 players believed they had what it takes to win it all. To this point, nothing has happened to dispel that belief.
Now, all that’s left for Pleasureville to do is slam the door on the title.
Tuesday night at Fredericksburg’s Earl Wenger Memorial Field, Pleasureville became the clear-cut favorite to capture the eight-team, double-elimination tournament by downing Campbelltown 9-2 in the event’s winners' bracket game. Behind a solid outing from Brandon Walters, Pleasureville banged out a dozen hits and scored in five of its eight at-bats.
The outcome means Pleasureville is the last remaining unbeaten team in the tournament. Now 3-0 in the tourney and 21-1-1 overall, the York County champions will see their next action at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Dauphin County champ Linglestown, which eliminated Shippensburg 6-5, also at Wenger Field.
The setback dropped Lebanon County representative Campbelltown to 15-10.
Pleasureville, which has now won eight straight, has never worn a Region 4 crown.
“Our approach at the plate in the first two innings wasn’t good,” Pleasureville manager Ellliot Ness said. “We were looking at fastballs right down the middle of the plate on the first pitch. We told our guys, ‘Attack in the zone. Don’t get yourself down in the count.’
“That’s when we started getting hits, when we had better approaches,” Ness said. “You’re working to get your count. Once we got more aggressive in the zone, the offense got going.”
Pleasureville grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-run single by nine-hole hitter Collin Young. Young’s hit scored Beau Burris and Ben Ward, who opened with a single and a walk, before being sacrificed by Ryan Pepler.
Post 799 knotted the game at 1-1 with a single tally in the bottom of the third. Pleasureville loaded the bases on Colin Parks’ single and a couple of Campbelltown errors, ahead of a Ben Reed sacrifice fly to left.
Campbelltown had struck for an unearned run in the top of the first to assume a 1-0 lead.
“We’re in the finals and you can’t get much better than that,” Ness said. “It was my first time here and it was a lot of these guys’ first time here. I didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know much about the other teams, so we wanted to come out and play our game.
“We have to play defense,” Ness said. “We like to bunt and move some guys around and put pressure on the defense.”
Mixing his pitches and changing locations, Walters had Campbelltown off balance during his 6 2/3 innings of work. The lanky right-hander fanned four, issued six free passes and counted 114 pitches.
Walters entered the contest with an overall record of 4-1 and an ERA right at 1.00.
“He struggled in the first inning,” Ness said of Walters. “But he battled through it. I don’t know that he had his best stuff. But he settled down. We were trying to get him through seven innings.”
Pleasureville padded its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, after Landon Ness walked with one out and Burris followed with a double. Pepler brought Ness home with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt.
“I thought we came out going through the motions,” coach Ness said. “We had some miscues, but after the second inning we pulled them (his players) in and talked to them. They kicked it in gear after that.”
Pleasureville broke it open in the bottom of the seventh, when it scored three runs to make it a 7-2 game.
Pleasureville’s first five batters in the frame reached base. Pepler drove in two more runs with a double to right.
Pleasureville rounded out the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth.
OTHER REGION 4
Dallastown eliminated: The Dallastown American Legion baseball season has come to an end.
Post 605 suffered a 6-5 loss to the host team, Fredericksburg, on Tuesday afternoon in a Region 4 elimination playoff contest in Lebanon County.
It was Dallastown's second loss in the double-elimination tournament.
The game was started on Monday afternoon, but was suspended in the top of the sixth inning with Dallastown trailing, 4-2. The game was resumed at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Post 605 rallied with three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead, sparked by RBI singles from Pete Capobianco and Lee Kling.
Fredericksburg, however, rallied with two runs in the eighth to take the lead for good.
Dallastown, the runner-up out of York County, concluded its summer at 10-6-1. Fredericksburg improved to 22-7.
Reach Jeff Falk at firstname.lastname@example.org.