Lititz VFW starting pitcher Chase Martin stepped into the batter's box at Kunkle Field in Mount Joy with some extra motivation in the top of the seventh inning Friday. He had watched from the mound as his team's early 4-0 lead over Manheim Lions evaporated and, with the bases loaded and his team back up by one, Martin wanted to help swing the momentum back the other way.
"I needed to come through," he said. "Those four runs that they got, I wanted to help get them back."
Martin punched a pitch l through the left side of the infield, scoring two in a four-run seventh inning that gave Lititz an 8-4 win over Manheim and a berth in the LNP Tournament Junior-Midget finals against the Mountville Angels.
Lititz VFW takes a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh before Chase Martin adds to the lead with this 2 RBI single. pic.twitter.com/CLVpKnP1zx— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) July 20, 2019
Lititz VFW and Mountville are set to face off at 7 p.m. Monday in the Kunkle Field confines with a second game scheduled for Tuesday if Lititz hands Mountville its first loss of the double-elimination tournament.
"Mountville's a great team," said Barry Adomnik, standing in for the absent Todd Rhoads as the Lititz head coach Friday. "They can hit. They hit one of our top pitchers pretty well the other night. We'll have some of our top pitchers available, so we're hoping to go in and give them a good competitive game."
Manheim gave Lititz the competitive game in Friday's semifinal, erasing a 4-0 deficit against Martin with one run in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Kye Watson started the rally in the fifth by drawing a leadoff walk and later scoring on a Landon McGallicher single. The Lions tied the game later in the inning when Logan McGallicher's single plated Cayde Connelly.
It erased the lead Lititz had built by scoring two runs in each of the first two innings against Connelly, Manheim's starter. Cody Lutz laced the first pitch of the game down the left-field line for a double and drove in a run with a similar shot in the second.
For the second time in as many innings, Lititz VFW's Cody Lutz drives a ball down the left-field line. This single scores courtesy runner Dylan Young from second. Lititz leads Manheim 4-0 mid-2nd. pic.twitter.com/9YPcY0nuP6— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) July 19, 2019
But through five innings, the teams had to reset.
"Any team could get down and stay down after a great team like Manheim comes back and ties it up like that," Adomnik said, "especially late. It just shows that we have some pretty special kids on this team."
After a scoreless sixth inning, Lititz loaded the bases before Tyson Kline took a pitch off the back of his right shoulder to bring home the go-ahead run. Martin followed with his 2 RBI single before King crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Ethan Zipko, who came on in the fifth, pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to seal the victory.
"They boys came together," Adomnik said. They all played great defense, had some real timely hitting. You could tell today that they came ready to play, and they weren't going to leave without a battle."