BERWICK — Selinsgrove had itself a boatload of momentum entering its final at-bat in the top half of the sixth inning.
However, Danville reliever Reece McCarthy slammed the door on the late rally.
McCarthy, aided by timely defense in center field by Aaron Johnson, retired Selinsgrove in order in the sixth, preserving Danville’s 4-3 triumph in the opening round of the District 13 Major Division Little League baseball tournament at BerVaughn Park in Berwick.
McCarthy relieved Jack Gibson, who kept Selinsgrove’s lineup in check for the bulk of the game, limiting the guests to a pair of hits through four innings.
Selinsgrove had stolen momentum back to its side in the fifth. Tucker Teats hit a two-run homer after a Ben Gearhart double, then timely defense from left fielder Caleb Hicks in a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the bottom half of the frame.
“We really came around the last few innings,” said Selinsgrove coach Troy Teats. “It was just a little too late.”
So McCarthy’s relief appearance came with only a slight bit of pressure. And his fifth pitch was smashed to dead center field by Selinsgrove catcher Mark Pastore. Johnson was there, making a big catch for a loud first out.
“Our defense was great,” Danville coach Zach Whapham said. “Everybody stayed composed and kept their cool out there.”
As for going to McCarthy, who notched the save?
“It was just an on-the-fly call,” Whapham admitted. “We only had nine guys at the start of the game.”
Danville plated two first inning runs on wild pitches, and added a third run scored via wild pitch in the third to build itself a 4-0 advantage.
The lone Danville earned run came on an RBI double by Johnson in the second inning.
DANVILLE 4, SELINSGROVE 3
Selinsgrove`000`030 — 3-6-2
Danville`211`000 — 4-5-2
Jack Gibson, Reece McCarthy (6) and Connor Geise. Josh Domaracki, Ben Gearhart and Mark Pastore.
WP: Gibson. LP: Domaracki. S: McCarthy.
Selinsgrove: Tucker Teats 1-for-2, homer (5th, one on) 2 RBI; Ben Gearhart,d ouble run.
Danville: Aaron Johnson 2-for-3, double, run, RBI; Gibson, double.