THROOP — David Wickiser pitched a phenomenal game for Mountain Post on Saturday in the Region 5 American Legion Baseball Tournament.
The soon-to-be senior at Holy Redeemer only gave up one hit to Dickson City.
But with a rising pitch count and three more days left in the tournament, MP manager Tony Caladie decided to pull his righty after the fifth inning so he could be used again in the tourney. It was a tough decision, but one that had to be made so the tough hurler can be used again in the event.
Seeing a new pitcher was just what Dickson City needed, as it scored twice against the bullpen with the second run coming in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 2-1 win.
“With the pitch counts and the schedule, you have to manage your pitchers a little bit,” Caladie said. “It’s a tough way to lose. Wick was throwing a great game. But by the same token, I’d lose him for the tournament if I don’t take him out.”
Dickson City advances to the winner’s bracket final and will face Swoyersville at 4 p.m. Sunday. Mountain Post falls into the loser’s bracket and will play Hazleton Stripes & Strikes at 1 p.m. Sunday in an elimination game. Stripes & Strikes eliminated Abington with a 5-4 win in nine innings on Saturday in the consolation bracket.
“I told them I still think we’re the best team in the tournament and we take it one day at a time,” Caladie said. “It’s a tough game, but these guys have bounced back every time we’ve lost this year.”
Mountain Post manufactured a run in the top of the first inning as Brett Caladie led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly from Justin Darden.
That’s all Wickiser needed during his time on the mound. He didn’t allow a hit until there was one out in the fourth, and didn’t allow a runner to pass second base at all. He threw 81 pitches and can now be used again later in the tournament. Had he went one more inning and reached 100 pitches, he would have been ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
“He was struggling a little bit early with the breaking ball, but he hung in there and the ball moved quite a bit and they were having a hard time hitting him,” Caladie said of Wickiser.
Reliever Evan Knapp threw well in his two innings, but tournament host Dickson City was able to rally. Some bad luck defensively also hurt Knapp.
An error was made on a groundball to start the bottom of the sixth. Then with the bases loaded, a slow grounder nearly became an inning-ending double play, but the runner was safe at first to score a run and tie the game at 1-1.
Then a single from J.J. Glinsky scored the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Mountain Post also missed some chances of its own as the team stranded runners on first and second in the third inning and left the bases loaded in the seventh.
Dickson City 2, Mountain Post 1
SCaladie 3b `3`0`1`0
Wickiser p` 3`0`0`0
Gouldsbury 3b `3`1`0`0
Colvin p `0`0`0`0
Mountain Post`100`000`0 — 1
Dickson City`000`001`1 — 2
Mountain Post `IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO
Knapp L` 1.1`3`1`1`0`1
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