Brody Gebhard did just about everything on Wednesday night.
The Mountville pitcher was dominant on the bump, tossing six and two-thirds innings with nine punchouts.
Gebhard also helped his team offensively, smashing a crucial two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth, helping propel his team to a 4-2 LNP Junior-Midget Tournament elimination bracket win over Hempfield.
“I had a blast,” Gebhard said after the game, played at Kunkle Field in Mount Joy. “I kind of figured it out on the mound and at the plate.”
Mountville started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Jevin Seifert walked, and pinch-runner Lucian Helm swiped second.
That brought Logan Dougherty to the plate. He smacked one to right field and Helm came around to score for a 1-0 lead.
Mountville tallied another run in the third inning. Catcher Josh Toole got the inning started with a one-out single, then Dylan Jackson moved the runner with a single of his own. Jeremiah Curtiss followed by lifting a ball to center, bringing in Toole.
Hempfield got on the board in the fourth inning, as shortstop Adrian Rodriguez led off with a single. He advanced to second on a balk by Gebhard, his only mistake of the night.
Rodriguez then took third on a ball that snuck by Toole. With two outs, Hempfield center fielder Julian Reisig came up with a big base hit, bringing in Rodriguez to slice the deficit to 2-1.
Then Gebhard’s crucial two-run shot gave Mountville the insurance runs it needed, as Hempfield made things interesting in the top of the seventh as it fought for its season.
Reisig got things started again for Hempfield, this time with a one-out single. Gebhard struck out the next batter, moving Mountville one out away from the championship round before being relieved by Cam Hulock.
Hulock was greeted with a base hit off the bat of Nik Schoelkopf, advancing Reisig.
Reisig came around to score on a Mountville throwing error, making the deficit 4-2 with runners on first and third.
But Hulock was able to get Hempfield leadoff man Elliot Fluck to pop out to Toole and end the game —earning Mountville another shot at Manheim, an 8-7 victor in the teams’ first meeting Tuesday.
“(Thursday) night we go after Manheim,” Mountville coach Chris Ahern said. “We come in there with nothing to lose.”
Manheim and Mountville meet again at 7 Thursday night back at Kunkle Field. If Manheim wins, it takes this year’s title. Should Mountville win, the teams will return at 7 p.m. Friday for a rubber match.
Meanwhile, Hempfield concluded a very successful season in which it recorded 19 wins and a third-place finish in the league.
“They’re hurting today but they can remember that they were a really big part of bringing our program back,” Hempfield coach Steve Katch said.