With a trip to a regional tournament already in the bag, the mission was still not complete for the Verilla Real Estate American Junior Legion team.
The goal for the team was to win the league tournament at the end of the season, and the Tyrone kids saw the goal come to fruition on Saturday evening.
Verilla Real Estate scored four runs in the first inning, which turned out to be more than enough for pitchers Cortlynd Rhoades and Zack LeGars.
Rhoades allowed just one earned run on four hits as he pitched into the sixth inning, while LeGars took care of the rest in a 7-1 win over Central to win the West Branch League championship.
Verilla Real Estate will now advance to the regional tournament, which will be held in Scranton starting this weekend. If they can advance, the state tournament will be held in Homer City.
Central will also be in a regional tournament held in Pittsburgh as the district runner-up.
When the final out was recorded, it seemed to be an “all business” type look for the Tyrone 13 and 14-year-olds.
“These guys have won since they were eight years old,” said Verilla Real Estate manager Jim Lang. “It was a little bit of a letdown today because a couple of their guys were at the beach. Once they knew they were going to regionals, a couple guys split.
“We know each other so well, and we didn’t really beat their top guys. I kept telling them, ‘Don’t worry about that.’
“It’s the first year of this league. Our goal was to win this tournament and be the No. 1 team. We did it. That was nice.”
Tyrone used six hits in that first inning to score four runs. After singles from Dylan Vipond and David Lang started the bottom of the first, Ross Gampe’s sacrifice fly brought home Vipond for the game’s first run.
Luke Brooks and Nick Lehner each had RBI singles later in the inning, while Deegan Baldauf knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice to give Tyrone a 4-0 lead.
After batting around in the first inning, Tyrone had a chance to tack on more runs in the bottom of the second, but Central stranded the bases loaded.
Rhoades took the favor back in the top of the third to strand Central with the bags full.
Verilla Real Estate scored another run in the third as Gampe worked a bases loaded walk to score Lehner.
Tyrone added another run in the bottom of the fifth as Gampe reached on an error with two outs, which scored Vipond to give Tyrone a 6-0 lead.
Central got their lone run in the top of the sixth. With one out, Jonah Snowberger singled before Rhoades walked Tyler Oakes. LeGars came on and got a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with two outs. Central executed a double steal with Snowberger stealing home to get on the board.
Tyrone got that run back in the bottom half as LeGars tripled over the left fielder’s head to start the frame. He came home on a Luke Brooks groundout to set the final at 7-1.
Tyrone’s regional tournament in Scranton will begin on Saturday.
“I have lots of arms. We should be fine. We’re deep enough to get through this tournament,” said Lang.
Verilla Real Estate 7, Central 1
Central — 1
Hoenstine ss-p 3000, Helsel cf 2000, Palmer lf-p-ss 4010, Smith c 3000, J. Snowberger 1b 3110, T. Oakes p-2b 2000, Gregg lf 3010, Bettwy 3b 1000, G. Snowberger ph 1000, Lingenfelter rf 1010, Z. Oakes ph 1010. Totals: 24-1-5-0.
Verilla Real Estate — 7
Vipond cf 3210, Lang ss 4120, Gampe 1b 1002, LeGars 2b-p 4230, Rhoades p-2b 4120, Brooks c 4022, Lehner 3b 3121, Baldauf rf 2011, O’Shell p 1000, Coleman lf 4000. Totals: 30-7-13-6.
Score by Innings
Central 000 001 0 — 1 5 1 Verilla Real Estate 401 011 x — 7 13 0 Errors: Hoenstine. LOB: Central 8, Verilla Real Estate 11. DP: Verilla Real Estate 1. 3B: LeGars. Sac: Lingenfelter. SF: Gampe. SB: Hoenstine 2, J. Snowberger, Gregg; Vipond. HBP: Hoenstine. CS: Gampe.