CAMDEN, N.J. — The most successful season in the history of Swoyersville American Legion baseball ended Sunday at the Mid-Atlantic National Regional Tournament.
Swoyersville attempted to console each other following a 16-0 loss to host Brooklawn in the tournament’s elimination round at Campbell’s Field.
“You’d think ending your season would be easy,” said Swoyersville Manager Sean Toole fighting back tears. “But it never is.”
Brooklawn, the defending World Series champions, battered five pitchers for 18 hits. Sean Breen led his team with four hits, three RBI and two runs scored.
Eric Schour finished with two hits and four RBI, including a three-run inside-the-park homer for the the Bulldogs (47-7), who need two wins Monday to advance to the World Series for the third straight season.
Shour’s homer highlighted a six-run rally in the fifth inning that allowed Brooklawn to invoke the mercy rule after seven innings.
Chris Lupole, Ryan Hogan, Mike Leonard and Evan McCue registered hits for Swoyersville (30-4), who ended the season with a state title and two wins at the national tournament at Campbell’s Field.
The Red Dogs had an opportunity to set an early pace in the first, when they put runners on first and second with one out on consecutive singles by Lupole and Hogan. But Brooklawn pitcher Matt Parr picked off Lupole at second. Toole said the play killed the team’s vibe.
“It wasn’t a good start,” the manager said.
The Bulldogs took the upper hand in the second inning, scoring twice in the second off Lupole Swoyersville’s starting pitcher. Lupole came out of the game after three innings with a cut on a finger on his pitching hand, according to Toole.
“Chris had trouble gripping the ball,” the manager said. “It was unfortunate.”
Breen and Fran Kinsey opened the second with singles, and Tre Todd followed with a sacrifice. Breen scored on a grounder off the bat of Tyler Mandie. Anthony Harrold followed with a single to center.
They added four runs in the fourth and sixth in the fifth to eliminate Swoyersville.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs parlayed five hits into four runs against Swoyersville reliever Logan Zavada. They opened the inning with four consecutive hits. Breen’s two-out, two run double capped the rally.
The next inning, they batted around. Barron’s homer to the gap in right center field, off Brendan Techmanski, highlighted the six-run rally.
“They were a better team than we were on this day,” Toole said. “It wasn’t our day.
“This was an awesome experience,” he said. “These kids earned everything they got. I’m really proud of them.”