Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
MHTS Summer Fun Tour
The Whitestown Post 1113 American Legion Baseball team defeated Moran-Sylvan Beach, by a score of 9-7 on Friday afternoon, to advance to the loser’s bracket final of the New York State District 5 Baseball Tournament.
Whitestown will now face New Hartford Post 1376 in the nightcap. The winner of that contest will meet Smith Post 24, of Rome, on Saturday, at noon, for the District 5 Championship.
This afternoon, Whitestown, the two time defending District V Champions, got out to a quick start against Moran Sylvan Beach, plating three runs in the home half of the first inning.
Adam Pexton drew a leadoff walk from Scott Graham and quickly stole second base. Matt Yozzo ripped a one out single, scoring Pexton, to put Whitestown up 1-0 right away.
Matt Black followed up Yozzo’s RBI with one of his own, doubling to center field, plating Yozzo and lifting Whitestown to a 2-0 advantage.
Jared Muraca’s two out, RBi single scored Black and Whitestown took a 3-0 advantage to the second inning.
Whitestown starter, Kevin Flynn, who will be a junior at Whitesboro High School this fall, was in full command of his off speed arsenal of pitches early, facing just 17 Moran batters in the first five innings of play, (two more than the minimum).
Whitestown tacked on 3 more runs in the top half of the fifth inning, increasing its lead to 6-0. Justin White started things off with a single and was later followed by a one out single from Luke Moore, to put runners at first and third.
Adam Pexton stepped in next and laced a single up the middle, scoring Moore and Schmidt, to make it 6-0 Whitestown, which is the way we’d go to the fifth inning.
After Flynn and the Whitestown defense shut down Moran Sylvan Beach 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, Whitestown increased the lead to 7-0, in the home half of the inning.
Matt Black singled and reached second on a past ball to Justin White, who later singled, to score Black for the seven run advantage.
White’s RBI single knocked Moran Sylvan Beach starter, Scott Graham, out of the game, in favor of Marcus Chestnut, who used a deceptive breaking pitch to get the next two Whitestown hitters out in order to end the inning.
Moran Sylvan Beach, which was playing its sixth game in seven days, rallied around Chestnut’s effort on the mound and got right back into the ball game in the top of the sixth.
Singles by Chestnut and Nick Melchiore, put runners at first and second for Cody Sullivan, who struck out looking at a Flynn breaking pitch.
A walk to Austin Littler loaded the bases loaded the bases for James Henry, who’s RBI single brought home Chestnut and Moran was on the board.
James Matthew’s grounder was mishandled in the infield, which allowed Spencer and Henry to score. Moran Sylvan Beach left the top of the sixth inning trailing 7-5.
It was all Marcus Chestnut in the bottom of the sixth, as the crafty, right hander kept Whitestown away from home plate, keeping his team within two runs through six frames.
Things got even more interesting in the top of the seventh. Cody Sullivan eeked out a one out walk from Flynn and raced to second base on a wild pitch to Nick Melchiore.
With Sullivan at second, Melchiore then ripped a hard single to right field, scoring Sullivan and pulling Moran Sylvan Beach to within a single run at 7-6.
Whitestown’s defense held the line after Moran’s sixth run. However, Austin Littler hit a sharp grounder to Whitestown shortstop, Mike Jardieu, who stabbed it, fired to Adam Pexton at second, who leaped over a sliding Nick Melchiore and fired to first for a textbook 6-4-3 double play, to end the inning with Whitestown clinging to a 7-6 lead.
Whitestown tacked on two critical insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, on a single from Kevin Flynn, an RBI triple from Jared Muraca and an RBI single from Luke Moore, to make it 9-6, after seven complete.
Steven Schmidt came on in relief of Flynn in the top of the eighth and set down Moran 1-2-3.
Moran-Sylvan Beach was able to plate a run, to make it 9-7 in the top of the ninth, but Steven Schmidt got Nicholas Melchiore to fly out to the shortstop, putting an end to the game.
Kevin Flynn picked up the win for Whitestown, improving Whitestown to (3-1) in tournament play.
Flynn worked 7 complete innings, yielding 4 earned runs on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 2. Steven Schmidt picked up the save for Whitestown.
Moran Sylvan Beach was led offensively by Nick Melchiore and James Matthews, who tallied two hits apiece.
Whitestown had two hits each from Luke Moore, Jared Muraca, Matt Black, Justin White and Steven Schmidt, to drive the offense.
Whitestown 9 Moran Sylvan Beach 7
Moran Sylvan Beach 0 0 0 0 5 1 0 0 1 7 9 0
Whitestown 3 0 0 3 1 0 2 0 x 9 14 2