Hawley's Junior American Legion baseball team hung back-to-back losses on Moscow
Post 311 turned in yet another stellar diamond performance on a perfect sun-soaked summer day at Wallenpaupack Area.
The local lads, who have yet to taste defeat so far in the 2014 Junior American Legion season, made Moscow their latest victim.
Coach Mark Kirsten's squad rallied to sweep a Sunday afternoon twinbill from the visitors, erasing an early deficit in Game Two en route to a 6-4 victory.
This win, coupled with a 7-2 triumph in the opener, improved Hawley's record to a sparkling 4-0.
"I'm very proud of this team," Coach Kirsten said.
"We were down 3-1 in the first inning, but the kids never blinked. They kept their heads up and just chipped away. They battled back and eventually came out on top."
Next on the agenda for Post 311 is a Wednesday evening contest with South Scranton. First pitch for this District 11 contest is slated for 5:30 p.m. at the high school field.
Hawley wasted no time in leaping out to an early advantage in Sunday's opener.
Post 311 erupted for three runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back on its way to a 7-2 decision.
Chris Brindle paced the assault. The talented young slugger banged out three hits in four at-bats. He roped two singles and a double, scored a run and drove in two more.
Austin Gilpin also terrorized Moscow pitchers, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
Right fielder Ty Holbert and shortstop Tyler Kirsten contributed clutch hits as well. Holbert went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Kirsten chipped in with two safeties and an RBI.
Morgan Theobald rounded out the Post 311 attack. Hawley's speedy centerfielder reached base twice, via a walk and free pass, and also tallied twice.
This was more than enough support for starting pitcher Mitchell Guerrieri. The hard-throwing righty worked into the fifth inning before yielding to the bullpen.
Guerrieri piled up eight strikeouts along the way while issuing just one walk. He allowed one earned run and just two hits.
Gilpin pitched the sixth and Adam Sands worked a scoreless seventh to seal the deal on a solid win.
Moscow refused to go quietly and roared out to a 3-1 lead early in Game Two.
Brindle drew the starting nod for Hawley, but experienced control issues which forced Coach Kirsten to make a quick move.
The veteran skipper called on Sands, which proved to be a brilliant decision.
"Adam did a phenomenal job," Coach Kirsten said. "As I've said before, Adam isn't going to overpower anybody, but he hits his spots and keeps batters off-balance. Adam was outstanding."
Sands pitched four frames of hitless relief. He struck out four, walked two and did not surrender a run en route to the victory.
Gilpin worked the last three innings to earn a save. Austin fanned five, allowed only one hit and battled his way through six walks.
Reese Phillips dazzled in this one. Another of Post 311's 15-year-olds, Phillips enjoyed a banner day at the dish and also flashed Gold Glove leather in left field.
He hammered a double and two singles, scored a run and collected a pair of RBIs. Reese topped this off with two spectacular diving catches in the outfield.
"I couldn't ask for much more," said Coach Kirsten. "Reese played his heart out and helped us get a really big win."
Gilpin earned rave reviews from his skipper as well. Austin went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Guerrieri chipped in with a clutch double and tallied twice. Theobald reached safely three times and scored a crucial run.
Kirsten and Brindle anchored Hawley's defensive efforts. Tyler gunned down three runners at first from deep in the hole at short. Chris made a brilliant running catch in deep left, robbing a Moscow batter of what appeared to be a sure double.
"If those two kids don't make those plays, we don't win the second game," Coach Kirsten said. "It's pretty much just that simple."
Score by Innings...
HAW (4-0) 1 0 0 1 3 0 1 - 6
MOS (1-3) 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 - 4