FREDERICKSBURG — Mulligan. Do-over. Second chance.
That’s the beauty of a double-elimination tournament. There is some margin for error.
Wednesday night at Fredericksburg’s Earl Wenger Memorial Field, Pleasureville was brought back to the Region 4 Tournament pack by Linglestown, which downed the York County champion 9-2 on the fourth day of the eight-team, double-elimination event. It was Game 13 to be exact. After the game was tied 1-1 through six innings, Linglestown raked Post 799 for eight late-inning runs.
Pleasureville had entered the game as the tourney’s last undefeated team and clearly situated in the event’s driver’s seat. Post 799 had its tournament winning streak snapped at three and its overall victory streak snapped at eight. Its seasonal mark dropped to 21-2-1.
The York County champions, however, are still very much in control of their own destiny. In Thursday's 7 p.m. winner-take-all title contest, Pleasureville will meet the winner of Thursday's 4 p.m. game between Linglestown and host Fredericksburg. Both games will be at Wenger Field.
Linglestown, the champion of Dauphin County, improved to 3-1 in the tournament and 20-6 on the summer.
The winner of the tournament will represent Region 4 at the eight-team, double-elimination Pennsylvania American Legion Tournament, being contested at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field, beginning Tuesday.
“We came here to get to the championship game,” Pleasureville head coach Elliott Ness said. “That was our goal. This game is in the past. We have our pitching ready to go. The tournament calls it a ‘throw-away game.' Not that we didn’t go out and play.”
With the score tied at 1-1, Linglestown scratched out a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the seventh.
It started with a walk and a hit-batsman. It continued with a wild pitch, another walk and another hit batsman. It also included an uncharacteristic Pleasureville throwing error.
Linglestown turned the contest into a rout by scoring six times in the top of the eighth to open a 9-1 cushion. The highlight of the rally was a two-out, three-run triple.
“We didn’t make a couple of plays,” Ness said. “Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don’t. Our recipe is good pitching, good defense and timely hitting. Tonight we did that for six innings. We didn’t play great defense. A couple of fundamental things we usually do well, we didn’t do well tonight.”
Linglestown starter Mario Cattabiani had Pleasureville guessing all night. He checked Post 799 on six hits and one earned run. Cattabiani whiffed five and issued a single free pass. Cattabiani retired Pleasureville in order in five different at-bats — the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth.
The sides traded first-inning runs.
In the top half of the opening inning, Linglestown’s Braydon Parr led off with a single and stole second. With two outs, A.J. Millar plated Parr with a single.
Pleasureville’s response was immediate, in the form of Beau Burris’ sacrifice fly. Pleasureville had loaded the bases with one out, on singles from Ben Reed and Michael Nizinski and a fielder’s choice.
Pleasureville’s second run resulted from Nizinski driving in Michael Reisinger in the bottom of the eighth.
Post 799 starter Colin Parks worked 6 1/3 innings before leaving in favor of Collin Young in the seventh. Parks surrendered seven hits, struck out three and walked two and was tagged with the loss.
“Colin Parks started the game and pitched great,” Ness said. “He’s our catcher in the regular season. What we didn’t want to do is use the pitching we have available for tomorrow. The bigger prize is tomorrow.”
Reach Jeff Falk at email@example.com.