Sullivan tops Muncy to advance to Bowman
LAPORTE - Sullivan County's Class A District IV baseball win over Muncy was a reflection of their season.
They started out strong, wavered a little in the middle but ultimately persevered to pull out the 4-2 win.
"This is unbelievable," Sullivan County coach Walt Tubach remarked. "We've worked with these guys for years and years, they've been coached well by many different people since they were little tiny kids. It's just something my assistant coaches and I have worked for these past years getting these guys together."
With the win the Griffins will play at Bowman Field on Saturday.
"It's great," Sullivan County's Lucas Hatton said. "It's something Walt wanted for a while and were fueling his fire I guess."
"Walt has been wanting to just get to the playoffs and now that we won a game it feels good," Sullivan's Zach Meyer added.
Meyer and Sullivan employed a bend but no break defense on the day.
Muncy was able to out hit Sullivan 8-5 but Meyer scattered the hits while striking out three and allowing just one walk. The rest of the defense was solid with only two errors on the night.
"It felt great," he said about the complete game win. "I haven't had the best outings a few times but tonight I couldn't overpower, I don't have the speed like other guys do, I just knew I had to locate the ball and I did."
Tubach said they had to change their game plan because they struggled in their two match-ups with Muncy this season.
"We changed our game plan," he explained. "We knew what we was going wrong against them."
Griffin Barry Heinrich started off the scoring. He led off the bottom of the first with a double, then reached third on a Lucas Hatton sacrifice fly. Heinrich took home on a wild pitch to give Sullivan an early 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning Muncy got on board in the third.
Jeff Scott led off the inning with a double, followed by moving to third on a Doug Zehner single. Scott then scored as Meyer threw to first on a pick-off play that got away from first baseman Conner Wylie.
In the third inning the Indians took the lead as T.J. Moyle went home on a Kenny Koch single to go up 2-1.
Despite being down Meyer wasn't worried.
"No hurt, no hurt," he said. "If they put the ball in play I knew our defensive guys would stop it. I knew that we were going to hit the ball eventually."
Sullivan County threatened in the bottom of the fourth as Mullen walked, stole second and reached third on a sacrifice fly but was stranded there.
However, they would respond again in the fifth and this time they got through.
With two outs Tim Kramer walked followed by Heinrich's second hit of the game to put runners on first and second.
Hatton pushed the rally further with a single into right that scored pinch runner Jake Gavitt to knot things up for Sullivan.
"I knew we had to get hits sometime," Hatton said. "We were hitting the ball pretty good, we had the bat on the ball most of the game. I just got around it pretty good."
Hatton had a deep sacrifice fly-out in the first inning and nearly bunted for a hit in the third.
"I knew I was going to put the bat on the ball," he explained. "I guess it went my way."
With runners on first and third Hatton went to steal second with the Muncy catcher overthrowing second base to allow Heinrich to score and move Hatton to third.
Kelby Mullen then walked to put runners on the corners again. On a steal attempt by Mullen he got caught in a run down that allowed Hatton to score before Mullen was tagged out at second to give Sullivan a 4-2 lead.
Meyer took it home from there.
Muncy would get runners on base in the sixth and seventh but couldn't move them past first. Meyer ended the game with a foul ball fly out catch up against the third base side dug out fence to push the Griffins to Bowman.
"Once you get a cushion like that you just have confidence they weren't going to get anything," he said. "I just threw my best game out there."
After their celebration they will have to get ready for their semi-final game.
"We're definitely going to change our game plan," Tubach said about their upcoming match-up against top seed Montgomery. "We'll look in the book and see what did wrong with Montgomery."
They lost a close one to the Red Raiders in their first meeting but were beat handily the second time around.
"The next few nights We're going to change things up and work very hard," Tubach said.
The Griffins will take on their Heartland Conference rival in second of a back to back at Bowman Field. The first game will be Canton facing off against Sayre at 11 a.m. with Sullivan's game slated for a 1 p.m. start.