GUYS MILLS — The District 1 Junior League winner’s bracket matchup between Tri-Boro and Meadville/Mid-East/Cochranton can be summed up in one statistic: runners left on base.
Tri-Boro left just two runners on the basepaths. MEC stranded 11.
That advantage helped Tri-Boro move on in the winner’s bracket following a 9-5 win over MEC on Tuesday in District 1 Junior League baseball action at Jake Boyle Memorial Field.
“I think that was the difference, (Tri-Boro) did the little things better than we did,” said MEC head coach Larry Roberts. “They got a guy on in scoring position; somehow they got them in.”
After Tri-Boro scored a run in the top of the first off a sacrifice fly, MEC went to work in the bottom half.
Rocco Tartaglione and Brighton Anderson reached on base hits to open the frame. After a fielder’s choice got Tartaglione out at third, Cam Arpin knotted the game up with an RBI single to score Anderson.
Stuart Hochstetler scored on another fielder’s choice and Arpin reached the plate off a base knock by Ryan Reichel making it 3-1 in favor of MEC.
However, Tri-Boro would follow with six unanswered runs, beginning with four in the second.
Plate discipline helped Tri-Boro out early with three straight walks. Ross Morrow needed just a grounder to score Henry Salvo. Then, Cody Huson scored on a wide throw from third base. Ryan Fiscus made it to first to keep the rally rolling.
After Brock Cunningham singled, Logan Anderson tallied a base hit of his own to bring around both Fiscus and Cunningham, giving Tri-Boro the 5-3 advantage.
“We were able to overcome that and get up 5-3 and then increase it little by little,” said Tri-Boro head coach Tim Banks.
In the top of the third, Tri-Boro tacked on two more runs. Salvo singled and Isaiah Wells walked, setting up a two-run double from Morrow that found the gap.
With the lead, Tyler Banks pitched well for Tri-Boro. He was unblemished for three straight innings until MEC finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth.
Heath Kleist led off with a single. He scored on an RBI single from Ian Gosnell. Later, Ben Hilson bunted on base and then scored off an error, but MEC could have had more. Two runners were tagged out trying for third base.
“We ran ourselves out of the (fifth) inning with two base running mistakes,” said Roberts.
MEC was able to keep it close with the strong relief outing from Hochstetler, who pitched from the fourth inning to early in the seventh. He allowed just two runs on three hits.
“He was lights out. If you would’ve told me he could give me three innings like that, I would’ve taken it,” said Roberts. “He gave us a chance.”
Both runs on Hochstetler came in the top of the seventh. Cunningham singled and scored off an Anderson base hit. Field then delivered his second sacrifice fly of the evening to bring home Anderson making it 9-5.
MEC left two on base in the bottom of the seventh as a pop up to second base closed the game out.
Banks got the win on the mound, going four and two-thirds innings. He allowed four earned runs and fanned two.
“Tyler Banks, he threw really well and kept them off balance,” said coach Banks. “He’s got like a cutter, curveball, slider and a changeup so he kept them off balance.”
Morrow pitched well in relief for Tri-Boro. He allowed just one hit in two and a third innings.
Anderson led the offense for Tri-Boro. He went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Field added two RBIs. Morrow went 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
For MEC, Arpin, Kleist, Reichel and Gosnell each tallied RBIs. Kleist and Reichel each tabbed two hits as well.
Jordan Hansgen can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.