By Jim Hunter
Special to the Tribune
WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP —
WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Little league players are normally treated to hot dogs after a game. The Meadville 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars should have been given a free meal at Five Guys on Monday night.
Coach Jason Bosco’s top five hitters — Jordan McCurdy, Charlie Waid, Ryan Scheppelmann, Jacob Smith and Trent Tidball — crossed home plate 17 times in Meadville’s 18-15 win over French Creek Valley American in District 1 loser’s bracket action at the Crawford County Fairgrounds Fields.
Meadville will play Vernon tonight at Fairgrounds Field.
Will Bosco get the same top-loaded production? Time will tell.
Against FCVA, Meadville’s fab five were on-fire at the plate. Their individual breakdowns:
n McCurdy: 2-for-4, two runs scored. (He also made two outstanding defensive plays).
n Waid: 3-for-4, four runs scored and a double.
n Scheppelmann: 3-for-4, four runs scored, four runs batted in and a double and a triple.
n Smith: 2-for-3, three runs scored, three runs batted in and a triple.
n Tidball — 3-for-4, four runs scored and two runs batted in.
“They hit the ball very well ... they did what they are supposed to do,” said an elated Bosco.
Banging out seven hits in the first two innings, Meadville jumped out to a 9-3 lead. McCurdy and Waid led off the game with singles and Scheppelmann followed with a two-run double.
In the second inning, McCurdy, Tidball and Bryce Smith collected singles and Scheppelmann laid down a RBI bunt single.
Bryce Smith also was in control on the mound. After early-game jitters as he allowed three runs in the first inning, the Meadville right-hander settled down by throwing shutout ball in the second and third innings.
“Bryce pitched a good game for us,” said Bosco.
However, Smith reached his pitch count in the fourth inning and had to be removed.
FCVA took advantage of the pitching rule.
Capitalizing on five base on balls, the Saegertown diamonders rallied for eight runs in the fourth inning to tie Meadville, at 11. Zach Balog and Dustin Nearhoof delivered clutch two-run singles.
Meadville didn’t panic.
Keyed by Waid’s lead-off double and Scheppelmann’s RBI triple, Meadville snapped the 11-11 tie with three runs in the fifth inning.
Bosco & Co. increased their lead to 18-11 with four more runs in the sixth. Smith had a two-run single and Tidball and Griffen Buzzell lined consecutive run-scoring singles.
FCVA didn’t throw in the white towel.
Fighting back again, coach Don Reagle’s club created some excitement in the bottom of the sixth by scoring four runs. Daniel Hoey unloaded the big blow with a two-run double.
The alert McCurdy — Meadville’s left fielder — defused FCVA’s enthusiasm by running into third base to tag out Hoey for the final out. Hoey was trying to stretch his double into a triple.
FVCA’s top sticks: Collin Ishimaru (2-for-3) and Zach Balog (2-for-4, three runs batted in). Jacob Reisinger made the defensive play of the game with an outstanding catch in the outfield in the second inning.