Loyalsock rallies to end Towanda's season.

By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | May 27, 2013


Nick Place hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and threw six innings of four-hit baseball on Friday, but it wasn't enough as the Black Knights defense cost the team four runs in a 4-3 loss to Loyalsock in the District 4, Class AA playoffs.

In the first inning Jared Lines reached on an error with one out and Dylan Bates followed with a double down the leftfield line. On a full count Place drove a pitch over the center field fence for his eighth home run of the season.

"He (Place) has had a real solid season for us, that home run tonight was his eighth home run, the RBI's give him 30 on the season," Towanda coach Bill Sexton said. "That's with a lot of people trying to pitch around him, those are some big numbers. Had over 20 hits, over 30 RBIs now and has 14 extra base hits. He has had an outstanding year."

Place also did the job on the mound, limiting Loyalsock to four hits and walking one, but four unearned runs, thanks to three Towanda errors, proved costly.

"I have said it all along, you have to play well in all three parts of the game to win it, especially at the district level," Sexton said. "Nick threw a heck of a game. Both of our pitchers in the district level, 13 innings and they don't give up an earned run. A walk. Four hits. He deserved better. He put himself in a position with the three-run home run, and he should have been out of it with nothing in the first inning."

It was the bottom of the first inning that allowed the Lancers to get back into the game.

Kyle Datres reached on an error and stole second and Jimmy Webb singled home Datres. Webb advanced to second on a ground out and with two outs Tom Baggett reached on an error that allowed Webb to score. Bailey Young then singled home Baggett to tie the game.

A double by Datres in the fifth proved to be the deciding run as he lined a double to center and it went just off the glvoe of the centerfielder. An error retreiving the ball allowed Datres to come all the way around with the winning run.

Bates had two hits for Towanda, with a double and Place had the home run, while Tristan James added a hit.

Datres had two hits, with a double, to lead Loyalsock.

Luke Glavin sturck out four, walked four and allowed four hits and three runs, two earned, in 6 1/3 innings for Loyalsock. Datres struck out both batters he faced in 2/3 of an inning to get the save.

For Towanda's seniors the loss ends their career in a year in which they claimed the NTL East title.

"The last game of the season is always the worst game of the season," Sexton said. "It's always bittersweet. There are kids that have put in four years for us and had fine careers for us."

While it is tough to say goodbye to the seniors, the Black Knights return a majority of their lineup, including sophomores Place and James, who pitched pitched the two district games, and fellow sophomore Bates, who had two hits on Friday.

"We bring back four of our viable varsity pitchers and a majority of our lineup comes back," Sexton said. "It's what you do between now and next march and how much better you make yourself. You don't want to end next season the way we did this year, we want to continue to get better and move on."