Back Mountain National falls in state Little League opener

By John Erzar - [email protected]
Back Mountain National catcher Joey Peters stretches to make the tag on C-Side’s Connor Helbling in the fifth inning in what was the game-ending run in a 12-2 victory in the Little League Major Baseball state tournament Sunday at the Berwick Little League field. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National shortstop Sam Barrouk gets in front of a ball in the third inning of Sunday’s game against C-Side at the Berwick Little League. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National J.J. Rischawy races from second to third and then to home on an error in the fifth inning to score his team’s first run. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National Mike Timinski slides into home plate as C-Side pitcher Mikey Evans is late with the tag in the fifth inning Sunday. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National shortstop Zach Paczewski races to get to a ball hit into the gap in left field in the fifth inning Sunday. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader

BERWICK — All the aspects of baseball that produced nine consecutive wins for Back Mountain National weren’t there Sunday afternoon.

The bats went silent. The pitching was hit hard. The defense was shaky.

The result was a 12-2 loss to C-Side in five innings in the opening round of the Little League Major Baseball state tournament at the Berwick Little League.

Now District 31 and Section 5 champ BMN has a very long road to winning the state crown. It needs to win six consecutive games starting Monday when it faces Section 8 champion Ridley at 12:30 p.m. at Berwick. Ridley lost 11-9 to Section 1 champ Clarion.

C-Side, the Section 2 champ from Canonsburg, plays Clarion at 5 p.m. in a winners-bracket semifinal.

BMN manager Gary Peters said his team will be ready to go Monday.

“It’s not a big deal. They’ll go home and go to sleep tonight and they’ll come back and play baseball tomorrow,” Peters said. “They’re kids. They bounce back quicker than adults do. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. But hey, today wasn’t our day. We’ve had a great run already and played really hard.

“Some day’s you’re going to have an off day and today was our off day.”

BMN managed just two hits — a first-inning single by Zach Paczewski and a fifth-inning single by J.J. Rischawy. The defense made four errors, including three in the fourth that helped C-Side score twice and take a 4-0 lead. The fifth inning, well, was a nightmare. C-Side banged out nine hits against three BMN pitchers and scored eight times to end the game due to the 10-run rule.

After Paczewski’s single with two out in the first, C-Side pitcher Shawn Miller retired nine of the next 10 batters, posting six strikeouts along the way. Paczewski was the only batter to reach base during the streak, dashing to first on a wild pitch third strike in the fourth inning.

Miller kept BMN batters off stride by mixing a slow, hard-breaking curveball with his fastball.

“Our kids know how to hit curveballs, they just didn’t stay back,” Peters said. “They were way out in front watching it. We work on it at practice. They know how to hit curveballs. Today just wasn’t our day.”

Trailing 4-0, BMN cut the deficit in half in the fifth inning. Rischawy dropped a single into short right field to start the inning and then moved to second on a passed ball. He came home on a fielding error on Mike Timinski’s grounder. Timinski later scored on a wild pitch.

The momentum, though, was sapped when C-Side’s Zach Taylor and Andrew Kocan opened the bottom of the inning with singles. Roman Mollenauer followed with a mammoth blast over the left field fence, triggering the eight-run outburst.

Major Baseball State Tournament

C-Side 12, Back Mtn. National 2 (5 inn.)

BMN`AB`R`H`BI

Adamski 3b`3`0`0`0

Peters c`2`0`0`0

Paczewski p`2`0`1`0

Cumbo 1b`2`0`0`0

Barrouk ss`2`0`0`0

Nocito 2b`1`0`0`0

Rischawy ph`1`1`1`0

Coyne lf`1`0`0`0

Hinsdale ph`1`0`0`0

Burkhardt cf`1`0`0`0

Timinski ph`1`1`0`0

Lisman rf`1`0`0`0

Kugler p`1`0`0`0

Totals`19`2`2`0

C-Side`AB`R`H`BI

Helbling rf`4`2`1`1

Taylor cf`4`2`3`1

Kocan 1b`4`1`3`2

Mollenauer lf`3`1`1`3

Dantry ss`3`0`0`0

Sutherland 2b`3`2`2`0

Bioni 3b`3`2`1`1

Gardner c`1`0`0`0

Evans lf`2`1`1`1

Miller p`3`1`2`1

Totals`30`12`14`9

BMN`000`02 — 2

C-Side`002`28 — 12

E — BMN 4. LOB — BMN 2, C-Side 5. 2B — Taylor, Gardner. HR — Mollenauer.

BMN`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Paczewski (L)`3.1`4`4`2`0`1

Cumbo`0.2`4`3`3`0`0

Nocito`0.1`4`5`3`0`1

Kugler`0.0`2`0`0`0`0

C-Side`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Miller (W)`3.2`1`0`0`0`6

Taylor`0.1`0`0`0`0`0

Evans (S)`1.0`1`2`0`0`2

Back Mountain National catcher Joey Peters stretches to make the tag on C-Side’s Connor Helbling in the fifth inning in what was the game-ending run in a 12-2 victory in the Little League Major Baseball state tournament Sunday at the Berwick Little League field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_bkmt_cside1_faa.jpgBack Mountain National catcher Joey Peters stretches to make the tag on C-Side’s Connor Helbling in the fifth inning in what was the game-ending run in a 12-2 victory in the Little League Major Baseball state tournament Sunday at the Berwick Little League field. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National shortstop Sam Barrouk gets in front of a ball in the third inning of Sunday’s game against C-Side at the Berwick Little League.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_bkmt_cside2faa.jpgBack Mountain National shortstop Sam Barrouk gets in front of a ball in the third inning of Sunday’s game against C-Side at the Berwick Little League. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National J.J. Rischawy races from second to third and then to home on an error in the fifth inning to score his team’s first run.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_bkmt_cside3_faa.jpgBack Mountain National J.J. Rischawy races from second to third and then to home on an error in the fifth inning to score his team’s first run. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National Mike Timinski slides into home plate as C-Side pitcher Mikey Evans is late with the tag in the fifth inning Sunday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_bkmt_cside4_faa.jpgBack Mountain National Mike Timinski slides into home plate as C-Side pitcher Mikey Evans is late with the tag in the fifth inning Sunday. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National shortstop Zach Paczewski races to get to a ball hit into the gap in left field in the fifth inning Sunday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_bkmt_cside5_faa.jpgBack Mountain National shortstop Zach Paczewski races to get to a ball hit into the gap in left field in the fifth inning Sunday. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
D31 champ suffers first postseason loss

By John Erzar

[email protected]

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar