South all smiles after playoff win.

By: Jon Gerardi | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | May 24, 2018


As Muncy coach Chris Persing visited the mound to change pitchers in the sixth inning, South Williamsport's Hunter Finn was joking around with third-base coach Smokey Stover and two of his teammates and had a smile which went practically ear to ear.

Finn had a good reason to be in a great mood and smiling. Just seconds before, Finn crushed a double to left field which brought in a run and broke open a tie game to once again give South Williamsport a lead over the Indians.

It was the key hit that helped spark the Mounties and shifted the momentum for good.

The Mounties scored four runs en route to an 8-4 win in the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals at South Williamsport on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Mounties host Troy, a 6-5 winner over Northeast Bradford, on Friday.

"We were facing a good team with some good arms and a couple miscues early gave them a few," Persing said. "I thought we played fairly well other than a few miscues there."

"We hit the ball, we hit it at them in beginning of the game and we made a few mistakes out here, but Muncy played a really, really good ballgame," Stover said. "I mean they played really well. Their kid threw a nice game. It's just if you lose now you're done and there's a little bit of pressure on us."

After Finn's RBI double, Gideon Green (2 for 4, double, two RBIs) hit a long double into deep right field which brought in a run. By the time Colby Alpaugh got Muncy out of the inning, the Mounties scored four runs and put the Indians in a deep hole with only one at-bat left.

Muncy (8-11) and South Williamsport (12-6) exchanged leads early in the game.

South Williamsport opened the bottom of the first inning by scoring a run after Finn reached on an error and was brought in on a Green RBI single.

Muncy then went ahead thanks to a shot by Nathan Paisley to bring in both Coleman Good and Alpaugh (2 for 4, two stolen bases) for a 2-1 lead.

"It was a big hit, Nate's been having pretty big hits for us all year. Two-out clutch hit, I think that kind of got us rejuvenated a bit here, little excited to play again because it was hot and we were down one and they kind of took it to us last week," Persing said. "So that was a huge hit to kind of ease ourselves a bit and go out and compete. We feel like if we're playing well, we can compete with teams we play and I think we showed that."

South Williamsport tied the game at 2-2 when Finn (2 for 3, double, stolen base, four runs) scored in the bottom of the third. The Mounties then went ahead by two runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Ben Johnson hit an RBI single into shallow left to score Finn, Peter Sinibaldi (2 for 3, RBI, stolen base) came through with an RBI single of his own to score Johnson and put the Mounties up, 4-2.

Finn scored half of South Williamsport's runs.

Muncy tied it again in the top of the sixth when Paisley reached on a dropped third strike and scored on a Coty Steele single to right. Tanner Gold then drove in Steele to make it 4-4.

"We could have just got done a little bit there, but the kids are battling," Stover said. "I'm pretty pleased with the kids as a whole. They're growing up as season goes on. We started out this year, it was ugly and they've been growing up each week."

On the mound, Logan Burkett came up big for the Mounties. In just his first varsity start, Burkett threw five innings, allowed just two runs and scattered five hits, all of which were singles, on 74 pitches. And of those five singles, none got farther than the shallow outfield.

"I kind of knew he was going to do that because each week he's been getting better. His mechanics are getting better. His curveball used to have a hump in it, but he tightened that up and now it's real sharp and he's throwing harder, standing back and throwing three or four miles per hour harder than he's been," Stover said.