Tioga rolls past Harpursville
TIOGA CENTER, N.Y. - Tioga took advantage of four Harpursville miscues and collected four of its seven hits to plate seven runs in the second inning en route to an 11-1 win here Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the Section IV, Class C baseball playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Tigers, now 15-8, will travel to third-seed Unatego (16-3) Thursday for a quarter-final match-up.
With one out in the home half of the second inning, Adam Layman hit a routine chopper to third base, but an errant throw allowed him to reach. The Hornets nearly made up for the miscue as Layman took off for second on the overthrow, but the throw was dropped at second base.
After Travis Moyer worked a walk, Peter Simmons stroked an RBI single to left-center field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
After Dakota Skinner flied out to left field for what would have been the third out, the Tigers scored six more unearned runs.
Freshman Tanner Folk kept things going with a single to load the bases, then Jake Howland ripped a two-run single to left field to make it 3-0.
After Folk and Howland pulled off a double-steal, Jesse Manuel walked to load the bases.
The Hornets suffered a stroke of misfortune moments later as Howland collided with third baseman Justin Koranka on a chopper off the bat of Vergason, allowing a run to score. Howland then alertly scampered home on the play to make it 5-0 when the Hornets attempted to throw behind Manuel at second base.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs on an RBI single by Carter Jackson and an infield error.
"That first throwing error opened the gates for us, then we strung some hits together," said Tioga coach Bob Seymour.
"Jake (Howland) had a big two-RBI single, Peter Simmons, Carter Jackson and Tanner Folk came through with RBI singles.
"Tanner Folk came up fro the JVs for that (S-VE) Wooden Bat tournament and had three hits," added Seymour. "He had two more hits tonight, he's going to stay in the line-up."
From that point on Tioga ace Peter Simmons was in control. He allowed a lead-off single in the third inning, then didn't allow another hit until back-to-back Hornet singles plated their only run in the top of the seventh.
Simmons allowed five hits, while striking out five and walking three in the complete-game win.
"That second inning was all Peter (Simmons) needed," said Seymour.
"I don't know if it was the heat or not, but he was having trouble with his landing foot early," he said. "I don't know if the mound was hard and it could be because it hasn't rained."
Seymour continues to be impressed by the sophomore left-hander, who is now 8-0 on the season and 14-1 in his career.
"He doesn't overpower you. He works the corners â¦ he's a pitcher," said Seymour. "He knows what he wants to do and goes about his business and does it.
"It's has to be frustrating batting against him because you walk back to the dugout thinking 'how did I not hit him.'"
"It's tough for teams to get a read on him because he doesn't do the same thing against a hitter twice in a row," added Seymour.
The Tigers added a pair of runs in the third inning on bases-loaded walks to Vergason and Jackson to extend the lead to 9-0.
They added two more runs in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Vergason and a wild pitch.
While Harpursville's pitcher were victimized by seven errors, Tioga committed just one, while turning a pair of double plays among several strong defensive plays.
"We made some nice plays defensively," said Seymour. "We turned two double plays tonight.
"Vergy (Ryan Vergason) made a couple good plays at short (stop) and Jesse (Manuel) made two real nice plays in centerfield.
"From about halfway through the season, we've played pretty well defensively," added Seymour. "You get to this point of the season and you're glad to see that because it's all about pitching and defense."
Folk was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and Howland and Vergason both had one hit, two runs scored and two RBI to lead the Tigers at the plate.
Jackson added a single and two RBI for Tioga, while Simmons had an RBI single and scored a run and Skinner singled and scored a run.