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Neumann-Goretti beats North Penn-Mansfield 1-0 in extras

Verratti single in bottom of 9th ends Tigers' dream season

 

by Ed Weaver - June 10, 2016

The District IV champion North Penn-Mansfield Tigers had their 2016 season end in heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti in 9 innings on Thursday, June 9 in Pottsville.

“It was a great game obviously and we had a great season,” said North Penn-Mansfield head coach Matt Perry. “I told the guys keep their heads up. We have a young squad here, a very young squad. Only three seniors on the roster so they have a lot of growing to do and hopefully we can grow and get better and learn from this loss. A 1-0 game in the quarterfinals of states is pretty impressive and is nothing to hang your head about.”

The Saints capitalized on the Tigers’ missed opportunities and base running errors late in the game as North Penn-Mansfield had chances to score in regulation. Kipp Hillson, Dylan Wesneski, and Carl Dinger loaded the bases in the top of the sixth but back-to-back strikeouts by Levi Adams and Dylan Williamson ended the Tigers’ first scoring threat.

Later in the top of the eighth Dinger beat out a throw to first, then as Levi Adams tried to bunt, Dinger was tagged out after getting caught in a rundown between first and second, then Adams struck out to end the second scoring threat.

North Penn-Mansfield’s defense and pitching kept them in the contest until the very end. Dinger started on the mound and allowed only 2 hits and 3 walks in 4 1/3 innings of work while striking out 3. Hillson then came on in relief for the final 3 2/3 innings to strike out 4 with 3 hits and 2 walks.

Just as the Tigers had plenty of chances early to score so did Neumann-Goretti. After Joe LaFiora reached base in the bottom of the sixth for the Saints with one out, Hillson struck out Ryan McGettigan and Ethan Pritchett to end the inning. Hillson then struck out Brain Verratti to start the seventh, then Colin Eiser grounded to second, and Hillson capped the inning by striking out Nicky D’Amore.

The Tigers kept up their solid defensive play in the bottom of the eighth as Jarred Healey flew out to Joel Whitteker in center, Aidan Baur was thrown out by Derrick Herbst at short, and Lou Testa grounded out to Dinger at third to end the inning.

The Tigers had another scoring chance in the top of the ninth as Williamson singled to center. Eli Compton came on to pinch run for Williamson and advanced over to third base, but Brendan Hill struck out and J.P. Shaw flew out to center to end the inning.

“Even in hindsight I don’t know what I would’ve done differently,” Perry said. “It’s a great team, they play good defense and played pretty well. All year we usually score that guy, today we just didn’t get him.”

Neumann-Goretti started the bottom of the ninth with a LaFiora single to center, then back-to-back bunts by McGettigan and Pritchett to load the bases, then Verratti singled to left to score LaFiora from third for the 1-0 win.

Hillson was 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Tigers. Dinger and Williamson were both 1-for-4. Shaw, Hillson, Wesneski, Adams, and Justice Giarth all drew walks on the day and Hill, Shaw, Hillson, Adams, Williamson, Dewey Wise, and Whitteker all struck out.

The Tigers finish the 2016 season with an 18-6 record.

Credits:

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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