Warren Americans battle to end in tough Boys Majors bracket

The Warren Americans Boys Majors All-Stars saw their season come to an end Saturday afternoon, falling just short of a comeback in a 5-4 loss to Punxsutawney at Betts-Jackson Field.

Warren did not go down without a fight in the losers bracket final.

Down 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Warren was able to string together three consecutive hits. Micah Passmore led the inning off with a single, and moved to third when Nick Hussey doubled down the left-field line. Jacob DeSimone followed with a double of his own, scoring both Passmore and Hussey. Punxsutawney was then able to get three consecutive outs, stranding DeSimone and getting away with a victory in the losers bracket of the Little League 11-and-12-year-olds all-star tournament.

The Americans were able to draw first blood in the game. Mitch Grosch led off the bottom of the first inning by hitting a line-drive homer well over the fence in right-center field. Ryan Rafalski then singled and scored later in the inning when a third strike was dropped. Warren appeared to be on to Punxsy pitcher Alex Greenblat, but Greenblat buckled in after the first inning. The right-hander did not allow a hit between the first and sixth innings.

Punxsy did its damage in the middle frames, scoring two runs in the third and three in the fourth. Only three of Punxsutawney’s runs were earned, as Warren committed five errors in the game.

Ben Salapek started the game on the mound for Warren, and was effective, allowing one earned run in three and one-third innings. Salapek struck out four batters. Hussey releieved Salapek, and pitched the final two and two-third innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out four.

Passmore led the Warren offense with two hits and a stolen base. Warren (2-2) out-hit Punxsy 6-5 overall. Punxsutawney advances to play Brookville in the championship, but must win twice against the winners bracket winner. The two teams in the final both beat Warren, but by a combined three runs.

Punxsutawney 002 300 – 5 5 1

Warren Americans 200 002 – 4 6 5

2b-London (P), Nick Hussey (W), Jacob DeSimone (W). HR-Byers (P), Mitch Grosch (W). WP-Greenblat, LP-Hussey, Save-Cribble.

BOYS MINORS

DuBOIS 24, WARREN 7

DuBOIS – An eight-run first inning did Warren’s Boys Minors in on Saturday in the winners bracket final at DuBois.

Warren bounced back with a three-run bottom of the first, but DuBois pounded out nine extra-base hits to reach the final.

Warren will play Fox/Johnsonburg/Ridgway (FJR) in the losers bracket final at 6 p.m. Monday at Betts-Jackson Field in Warren. The winner will meet DuBois in the championship.

In Warren’s half of the first, Bryce Blair’s two-run single scored Zane Alexander and Curt Darling, and Payton Barnes knocked in Blair with a hit to trail 8-3. Despite being down big, Warren ended the game with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.

After Barnes was hit by a pitch, Kael Hunt singled and Justin Rich walked to load the bases. Alexander scored two with a single and Curt Darling added a two-run double, but it wasn’t enough to extend the game.

Warren is 2-1 and FJR 4-1 after losing its first game of the tourney to DuBois.

DuBois 80(13)3 – 24 18

Warren 300 4 – 7 7

2b-Curt Darling (W), Chandler Ho (D) 3, Colby Estrada (D), Bryce Dirkselt (D), Chooch Husted (D), Cole Sansom (D). 3B-Ho (D), Estrada (D). WP-Ho. LP-Bryce Blair.