It’s not over yet.
The Warwick Phillies forced a winner-takes-all game next week by beating the SWS Cardinals, 14-5, in the LNP Tournament’s Midget-Midget Division bracket on Friday night at Kunkle Field in Mount Joy.
The teams — both now with one loss (to each other) — will return to Mount Joy at 7 p.m. Monday for the deciding game.
Despite the final score, Friday’s game was a bit more tense than it seemed.
Warwick earned the victory on the back of its most valuable player, Matthew Seibert. He has proven to be a do-it-all player, especially when the game is on the line.
Friday, he was the winning pitcher.
"It was a tough game," he said afternoon, even though he made it look pretty easy.
Seibert pitched a strong 3.2 innings and helped himself out at the plate, as well, cracking a three-run home run to break the game open while still being one of the biggest cheerleaders in the dugout on a night that seemed like it belonged to the backs-against-the-wall Phillies from the first pitch.
"It was an outside fastball and I took it that way," Seibert said of his home run in the second that put the Phillies up for good.
"It was fun to see him fire us back up," Phillies head coach Collin Cossette said of Seibert's homer.
Seibert entered the 71st LNP Tournament off a season in which he was 8-0 with a 1.35 earned-run average on the mount and batted .576 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs at the plate.
The SWS Cardinals, who entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed behind Warwick, cut the Phillies’ lead to 7-5 at one point in the middle innings, before Warwick pulled away at the end.
"They didn't lie down, either," Cossette said of the Cardinals. "They have faith in each other, though."
All of the starting pitchers are eligible for the Phillies on Monday, since Seibert was taken out after throwing just 49 pitches.
Although Cossette said it will be a game-time decision regarding who will start their final game of the tournament, don’t be surprised if it’s Seibert.