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Rothrock outlasts Joe’s OIP to advance to Minor League title tilt

By Kenny Varner

BELLEVILLE – He was clutch under pressure.

Going into the final inning leading 15-13, Rothrock pitcher Landon Pecht sent down 3-of-4 Joe’s OIP batters to clinch their Semi Final contest and help send his team to the MIfflin County Youth baseball Super Series championship game on Monday.

In his two innings on the mound, Pecht struck out five batters after allowing three early runs in the fifth inning.

However, Joe’s showed how they could battle back after being down 8-2 at one point to make the final innings a nail biter.

Joe’s OIP got the game started offensively, posting two runs in the first.

Matt Hartsock and Luke Warfel opened things with consecutive walks.

They both scored on a double to right field by Conner Moist, making it 2-0.

Back rallied the Eagles in the second, posting the Max runs of four in the inning.

Brandon Casner led off the inning with a single to left. He later stole second and then to third via a wild pitch.

Easton Zong joined Casner on the base paths as he walked.

Both scored on a Conner Yoder 2RBI single, tying the contest at two.

Yoder would score on a Lucas Casner single that was extended on a miscue by Joe’s, scoring both runners and ending the inning for Rothrock.

Rothrock kept Joe’s off the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning, giving them a 4-2 advantage going into the third.

Reagan Varner struck out five in his two innings on the mound.

Offensively, Rothrock went back to work in the third as it plated another four runs.

Highlighting the inning was two 2-RBI singles by Varner and Pecht to end the inning ahead 8-2.

But in the bottom of the inning Joe’s OIP’s offense started to sizzle and it mixed patience and timely hitting to retaliate with four runs of their own.

With one out, Gabe Kline started off the inning with a walk.

Matt Hartsock reached on a bunt single, setting the stage for Warfel.

Warfel did not disappoint as he roped a double scoring both Hartsock and Kline.

Teegan Kauffman sent home Warfel with an RBI single.

Kauffman later scored via a single by Conner Moist, cutting it to a 8-6 Rothrock lead.

Defensively, Joe’s kept the Eagles to just two runs to put them in striking distance at 10-6.

In the bottom of the fourth, Joe’s knotted the game at 10.

The fifth was sparked by grand slam inside-the-park home run, giving his team back the lead 14-10.

Joe’s OIP again marched their way back, posting three runs.

With the game heading into the final stanza, Rothrock added an insurance run and put the ball back in the hands of Pecht and he kept Joe’s off the board and his team into the winners circle.

The game was not for the faint of heart as both teams left it all on the field.

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