SAEGERTOWN — Reoccurring nightmares don’t typically come on back-to-back days. French Creek Valley American’s reoccurring nightmare was non-typical, however.

On Thursday, FCV surrendered four first-inning runs to Linesville/Jamestown before settling down and finding its groove. But the wake-up call came too late, and FCV fell into the loser’s bracket final against Tri-Boro North yesterday.

The same thing couldn’t possibly happen again on Friday, right?

It did, and it cost FCV dearly as it was eliminated from the District 1 Junior League Tournament Friday at Bertram Park, 6-3.

Jason Shestrenko got TBN rolling in the first with a leadoff single on the first pitch he faced. He then stole second and scored on an FCV error.

Kyle Ponsoll, who reached first on the same error that Shestrenko scored on, also stole second. Ponsoll scored when Nick Lombardo became the second straight TBN batter to reach first on a fielding error.

After stealing third, Lombardo made it a 3-0 game on Caleb Elder’s groundout to second base.

FCV pitcher Cody Schultz finally got his team out of the frame with a ground out and pop out. But the damage was already done.

“It’s the same thing with (Thursday) night,” FCV coach Brian Handel said. “It was the first inning that killed us.

“Here again, if we had gotten past the first, we would have been fine. We keep coming back every game we play, we come from behind every game …”

Indeed, they did make a comeback.

FCV had the bases loaded in the bottom of the first with no outs. A strike out and pickoff move that resulted in a rundown and eventually an out, however, were a momentum killer. FCV eeked out one run when Cody Schultz scored on Dan Prenatt’s liner into left field.

TBN tacked on two more runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to take what appeared to be a commanding 6-1 lead.

But FCV refused to go quietly again.

In the fifth, leadoff man Dylan Johnston walked, stole second and scored on Jordan Buxton’s single to left. Buxton later scored on Pat Amy’s blooper down the right field line.

The two runs made it a game again, but it was what FCV couldn’t do in the fifth that hurt — scored Prenatt from third and Tyler Prinkey from first. In all, FCV stranded six baserunners.

FCV also committed five errors and allowed TBN to steal 13 bases.

“We took ourselves out of the game in a couple spots,” Handel said. “At this level, you can’t have the errors. You have to play seven good innings. We played six (Thursday) night, we played six (Friday) night. You have to play seven.”

Holding a 3-run lead the final two innings, TBN pitcher Ryan Avione closed the door on FCV by not allowing a hit.

Lombardo led TBN at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance and two runs scored. Shestrenko went 2-for-2 with one run scored, and Elder knocked in two runs.

“We hit the ball really well (Friday),” TBN coach Scott Suprynowicz said. “We’re just fighting our way through the loser’s bracket. Everybody contributed.”

TBN will face Linesville/Jamestown in the District 1 championship at 6 p.m. today at Summers Baseball Complex, which is west of Linesville on Route 6.

TBN’s coaches said they didn’t know much about the Linesville/Jamestown team.

“(FCV’s coaches) said they hit the ball really well and they come to play,” Suprynowicz said. “ Really, that’s all we know about them.

“They’re in the winner’s bracket. We’re the ones with our backs against the wall. We’re the ones that have to fight them.”



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