SHILOH – Not even some early-morning rain on Monday in Mount Wolf could derail Jefferson in the Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament.
With the wet conditions forcing all the games on Labor Day to move from Mount Wolf to Shiloh’s Sunset Lane Park, the Titans just continued to do what they did all weekend — win.
After cruising to a pair of victories on Saturday and three more on Sunday, Jefferson needed to win just one more game Monday to capture the organization’s second title over the past three years. Thanks to key back-to-back hits by Joe Jasinski and Dan Rhodes, the Titans were able to get past Lansdale, an all-star squad from the Perkiomen Valley Twilight League, 4-3 in the title game.
Jasinski, sporting an old-fashioned uniform and facial hair, ripped a bases-loaded single to drive in a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Rhodes followed with a two-run double to help the Titans take a four-run lead after 3½ innings.
Bossom comes up big: The Cannoneers, who won last year’s crown as the Perky All-Stars, scratched across single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but Jefferson ace Brian Bossom earned his second save of the event after getting out of a jam in the sixth. Bossom then induced a grounder to short by Lansdale slugger Lenny DelGrippo to end the contest.
“That’s Brian Bossom … that’s just what he does,” Jefferson skipper Pat Schultz said of his hurler,, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding pitcher.
Bossom allowed one run over 8 2/3 innings over the weekend while earning one victory to go along with two saves.
With Conor Miller holding off the Cannoneers over the first three innings, Schultz wasn’t quite sure when the right time, if any, would be to bring in Bossom, who pitched seven innings Sunday.
Miller didn’t appear to need any relief early. The right-hander allowed just one runner over the first three innings. After the Titans staked the Glen Rock pitcher to a 4-0 lead, the Lansdale lineup was able to finally get to the right-hander, scoring single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth.
Miller’s leash reached its end in the sixth. Schultz summoned "The Boss" to get the final two outs of the sixth, but it wasn’t easy. After a ground out for the second out, a walk and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two outs.
Facing a full count against Matt Blazynski, Bossom went with a well-placed curve ball for a called third strike to end the frame.
“I knew many hitters are looking for a fastball in that situation,” Bossom said. “And with an open base, I just didn’t want to give in. I just wasn’t going to let him beat me that way.”
Bossom faced more adversity in the seventh when Kyle Feaster stroked a one-out single to center. On the next pitch, Feaster was able to easily steal second to get into scoring position. Bossom didn’t falter with the heart of Lansdale’s lineup coming up. Bossom got a strikeout and a bounce out to end it.
Allison stars at plate: The final out brought on a spirited celebration on the field after Bossom threw his glove in the air. For the 14th game in a row, the Titans came out on top. It was clearly a fitting way for the organization to wrap up the 2019 campaign.
“The Titans just don’t lose late in the year,” said Logan Allison, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. "They finished the year off with an eight-game streak and now a six-game (streak) here in this thing. They are certainly rolling.”
Allison, who recorded the final out as the team’s shortstop, was on a tear throughout the event. The Manchester pickup finished the tournament 8 for 16 with two doubles, a triple, seven RBIs and two runs scored.
“We picked it up with the bats and played really good defense,” said Allison, who is now just two Kerrigan titles away from matching his brother, Austin, who has been a part of four title teams. “And the pitching really got it done.”
Notes: CL regular-season champ Stoverstown started out the tournament red hot with victories over South Penn and the Susquehanna Assault Saturday. Two more victories Sunday sent the Tigers into the winners' bracket final against the Titans.
Just like last weekend, when the Titans swept Stoverstown in the playoff finals, the Jefferson boys had their number again. The Titans earned an 8-2 triumph to advance to the championship contest.
The Tigers were then eliminated by a hot Lansdale side in the losers' bracket final, 2-1, on Monday. That outcome was a direct flip from the 1-0 shutout victory by Stoverstown in the winners' bracket semifinal Sunday afternoon, when Trevor Farrell held the Cannoneers to three hits.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.