WEIRTON - Weirton American Legion Post 10 opened the annual Beast of the East Tournament yesterday at Bowman Field by outhitting the Pottstown Potters 11-10, but the boys from Pennsylvania scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull out a 7-5 win.
Pottstown, which defeated the Roc Hawks 6-5 earlier in the day at Martins Ferry, put itself in good position in the Bronze division of the 19-and-under section of the tournament.
"We do a lot of small ball like we did today, but we can hit the ball with power at times, too," said Jim Goodhart, coach of the Spartans, who had his team use a couple of sacrifice bunts to set up runs, including the winning runs in the seventh inning. "This was a good team we played today and this is the best tournament we play in. The people that put it on do a good job and we keep coming back year after year."
On the other side, coach Bill Magnone was disappointed in the way his team played defense.
"We sort of gave this game away," said Magnone, whose team had two errors and several mental mistakes. "We just didn't field the ball the way we should have in certain situations."
Post 10 received a good pitching effort from Mitch Viakely, who gave up five runs on eight hits. He struck out five and walked two. Kyle Woodruff took the hill in the seventh and yielded two runs on two hits and was the losing pitcher.
Pottstown 7, Weirton 5
Pottstown 000 221 2 - 7 10 1
Post 10 200 020 1 - 5 11 2
POTTSTOWN: Lafferty (WP, 0BB, 5K) and T. Thomas. Pederenko 3S, RBI, 2R; Vonker S, 2B, R, 2RBI; Gery 2S, R, RBI, N. Thomas 2RBI.
WEIRTON: Viakely (2BB, 5K), Woodruff (LP, 0BB, 0K) and Sylvestri. Bowser S, 2D, 3R, SB; Viakely S 2B, R; Cessna S, 3RBI; Lombardi 2S, RBI; Welch s, R; Sylvestri S; Merico S.
Weirton scored two first inning runs off of Pottstown's Josh Lafferty when, with one out, Kelaen Welch got on board on an error. It was Pottsbown's only error of the game.
Will Bowser followed with a sharp single to right field and both he and Welch scored when Matt Cessna followed with a single up the middle.
"Lafferty won the Pennsylvania Class AAA state championship game three weeks ago," said Goodhart. "He pitched the state championship game for Pope John Paul, which is in Pottstown."
Viakley got out a tough situation in the first inning as the Spartans touched him for three hits, one of them a dribbler in the infield. He cruised through the next two innings recording four of his five strikeouts, but Pottstown knotted the game with two runs in the fourth inning.
Joe Pederenko singled to center and Kolton Vonker followed with a walk. Tony Thomas' sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Pederenko hit home as Nick Thomas bounced out to second base and Vonker came around to score on Sam Widenhoffer's single off the glove of diving second baseman Vinnie Merico.
Pottstown got two more in the fifth inning as Jake Gery led off with a four-pitch walk. Satchel Sciarretta's grounder to third was misplayed putting runners at second and first.
Weirton tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with two runs.
With one out, Bowser, who had three hits in four trips to the plate and scored three runs, ripped his first double up the right center gap. He stole third and scored on a passed ball. Viakely laced a double to left center and scored on Mario Lombardi's single.
Pederenko smacked an RBI single to right field sending Sciarretta to third where he scored on Vonker's grounder to shortstop.
The Spartans squeaked out a run in the sixth to retake the lead. With two outs, Bob Girard got to first on a Post 10 error, stole second and raced home on Gery's RBI single to left field.
The Spartans put the game away with two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. Pederenko, who had three hits to lead Pottstown, singled deep to shortstop and Vonker followed with a single to right field.
Thomas sacrificed the runners to second and third with his second bunt of the game. Pederenko scored on a double by Vonker and Vonker later scored on a ground out.
Bowser led off the bottom of the seventh with a double off the fence in right field and scored on Matt Cessna's groundout to shortstop.
"Bowser really came to play today. He's got the hot bat right now," said Magnone. "He hit the ball well, and so did our whole team. And Viakely pitched a great game, but we just didn't score enough to overcome the defensive mistakes."