Making hay while the sun shined, Manheim VFW struck for four first-inning runs, hanging on to defeat SWS Blue, 4-3, Wednesday at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Manheim's victory in the first game of the Midget semifinals of the LNP Tournament advanced top-seeded VFW (15-0-1) to the championship game, held later Wednesday night. Its opponent? The Lititz Oddfellows, who advanced to championship in the night's second game in an 8-2 victory over Bears Blue.
In the bottom of the first inning in game one, VFW's Tyler Simon and Taylor Rohrer reached base on infield singles. BJ Fisher plated Simon with a single to right, Rohrer going first-to-third.
Bryce Eberly rocketed an RBI single over the shoulder of losing pitcher Kris Pirozzi and into center field, scoring Rohrer with Fisher going first-to-third.
Cody Gibble capped the scoring with an RBI groundout, and Manheim had a 4-0 lead.
Pirozzi held VFW hitless the rest of the way, with Eberly reaching on catcher's interference in the fourth, as their only baserunner.
It was on Rohrer to keep SWS (11-5) at bay, which he managed.
With two out in the top of the second, Blue's Aaron Snyder reached on an infield single, soon joined by Connor Blantz, safe on an error.
Derek Eckman, hit by a pitch, loaded the bases for SWS before Joseph Meck struck out on a wild pitch that eluded catcher Garrett Bruckhart.
Snyder scored as Meck reached first, and Blantz scored all the way from second to halve VFW's advantage.
Leading off the top of the fifth, Pirozzi sent a fly ball deep to left, Fisher making a valiant attempt to catch it before it fell in for a triple. Patrick Holmes' RBI double scored Pirozzi, but Rohrer retired eight of the final nine batters to close out the victory.
Lititz Oddfellows 8, Bears Blue 2: A five-run second inning propelled defending LNP Midget champion Lititz Oddfellows back to the championship game.
The third-seeded Oddfellows (16-7) used the 5-spot to fashion the win over second-seeded Bears Blue in the second game of a semifinal doubleheader Wednesday night.
Blue (14-2) took the early lead on Chad Caley's two-run single in the bottom of the first inning. A short-lived advantageit was.
Lititz loaded the bases on singles from Max Bright and Colby Martin and a walk to Evan Clark. Reed Martin's double chased home two runs, Adam Rickett's single scoring Clark.
Jeffrey Kline walked to reload the bases before Bryce Zimmerman and Patrick Quinn singled to drive in two more runs.
Up 5-2, Lititz added a run in the third inning on Evan Clark's sacrifice fly, then tacked on a pair in the fourth. Quinn's RBI single made it 7-2 and Zimmerman scored on a passed ball to cap the Oddfellow production.
Winning pitcher Justin Byler allowed five hits after the first inning, never more than one an inning, finished with four walks and four strikeouts and worked out of a two-on, one-out spot in the seventh to close out the win.