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Aug, 2021

Day Five Recap of DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series

GAME 11: Brownsville, TX 2, Johnstown, PA 1

Brownsville, TX outlasted Johnstown, PA, 2-1, behind strong pitching from Javier Garcia and Ruben Lopez, to stay alive and force a rematch later tonight at the 2021 DICK’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series.

Garcia struck out seven over six innings to get the win for Brownsville. One run came across, but was unearned, on four hits and one walk against the left hander. 

 Ruben Lopez entered in the seventh, after a substitution debacle was sorted out by PONY Baseball’s Tournament Decisions Committee. 

A planned pinch hitter for Garcia was announced by Brownsville’s coaching staff to the official scorer in the bottom of the sixth. According to PONY Baseball’s substitution rules, once a pitcher is subbed out of the lineup, he is ineligible to return to the mound. Therefore, due to the official announcement of a substitute by Brownsville’s coaching staff to the official scorer, Garcia was not allowed, by rule, to re-enter and pitch in the seventh.

Nonetheless, Lopez took care of business in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save.

 Etziel Gonzalez broke the ice in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI double to the right center gap, scoring Nehemiah Garcia, who led the inning off with a single and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Miguel Soto.

Brownsville added their second run in the fifth. Alexis Lopez reached on a one out walk. Jeremiah Vela hit a single to the right center gap in the next at bat, advancing Lopez to third. 

Johnstown was on the verge of escaping the threat after Johnstown’s first baseman snared a line drive to get the second out and the next batter was faced with a 1-2 count. However, the 1-2 pitch was a curveball in the dirt that skipped off the catcher’s leg guard, allowing Lopez to race home for the second run.

Johnstown narrowed the game to 2-1 in the top of the sixth, when Anthony Grippo, who reached on an error to lead off the inning, sprinted in to score on a groundout to first base, just beating the tag of Brownsville’s catcher.

Aaron Bowers gave it a valiant effort on the mound for Johnstown, but got the tough luck loss, allowing two runs on four hits, five walks and four strikeouts in the complete game effort.

Chase Williamson went 2-for-3 to lead Johnstown.

Brownsville snagged line drives and turned them into inning ending double plays to terminate Johnstown scoring threats in both the first and fourth inning.

GAME 12: Youngstown, OH 11, Washington County, PA 0

 Youngstown, OH cruised into the 2021 DICK’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series with an 11-0 run rule victory over Washington County, PA. 

Youngstown’s bats got off to a hot start with five hits in their first six at bats en route to a four run top of the first inning. They added one in the third, and six more in the fourth to put the run rule into effect.

Hunter Garvin led Youngstown’s offensive and defensive attack. He went 2-for-2 with a double, four RBI, and two runs scored on the offensive side. 

Meanwhile, on the pitcher’s mound, Garvin threw four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. His pitch count limit came into effect after six walks in four frames.

Dom Cubellis closed out the fifth to secure the victory.

Jacob Hayes and Jake Rynd each were 2-for-3 with an RBI on the night. Hayes and Anthony Triveri had two runs scored apiece.

Quinn Meola drove in a run on a double in the first. Carter Wilson added a sacrifice fly out in the midst of the six run fourth inning.

Washington County aided the Youngstown offense by committing six errors.

J.R. Rieg singled, while Marco Faieta and Brogan Meighen doubled for the lone Washington County hits.

Rieg was the starter for Washington County and got the loss after only recording one out and allowing four runs. 

Khi Bouman surrendered seven runs, three earned, over 3.2 innings of relief, and Massimo Falconi pitched a scoreless fifth inning.

Youngstown advances to their second ever, first since 1955, DSGPLWS Championship Game. First pitch for the winner-take-all Championship Game is set for 6:00 pm tonight. They await the winner of Brownsville, TX and Johnstown, PA, who are battling out an if necessary game.

Washington County has been eliminated, after making their deepest run in the DSGPLWS since 2006. They finished the week with two wins, over Bay County, MI and Bayamon, PR, and two losses, both coming to Youngstown.

GAME 13: Brownsville, TX 6, Johnstown, PA 2

Brownsville, TX stormed past Johnstown, PA, 6-2, for its second win in a matter of hours to advance to their first ever DICK’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series Championship Game in program history.

Ruben Lopez came right back out after closing out the afternoon game and dealt a complete game, two-hitter to propel Brownsville to victory. He allowed two runs and two walks while striking out six.

Brownsville had a runner in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but could not capitalize. 

Third time was a charm for the Brownsville offense, as they plated two runs in their third at bat. Lopez helped his own cause with a one out single through the left side, scoring Jesus Rios, who singled to lead off the inning.

Christopher Ramos drove in Jorge Garza Jr via a sacrifice fly out later in the frame to put Brownsville up 2-0.

In Johnstown's half of the third inning, Aaron Smearman stepped in, after Chase Williamson doubled to break up Ruben Lopez’s no-hit bid, and laced a game tying double off the bottom of the left center field fence.

 Brownsville took the lead right back with a four spot in the top of the fourth.

Jeremiah Vela led the fourth off with a double to right center, and Jesus Rios drove him in later with a sacrifice fly out to take a 3-2 lead. 

 Then, with two outs Brownsville rallied for three more insurance runs. Garza Jr doubled home one and Nehemiah Garcia ripped a two RBI single.

In each of the five innings Brownsville’s lead off batter reached on a base hit.

Adam Radkowski started and went 2.1 innings, surrendering two runs on five hits.

Justin Whysong got the loss out of the bullpen for Johnstown after allowing four runs, two earned over 1.1 innings. Connor Jones closed out the final 1.1 innings.

PONY Baseball’s Tournament Director, Lynnie Lynch, made the decision Tuesday morning to shorten all if necessary games to five innings, due to the weather uncertainty.

Brownsville is the first loser’s bracket team to make it to the championship game since 2012, and the first team from Texas to make the finals since Laredo won the PLWS in 2011. 

They will take on Youngstown, OH in the winner-take-all championship game tonight. First pitch is set for 6:00 pm, live on AT&T SportsNet.

Johnstown finished their 2021 DSGPLWS appearance with a 2-2 record. They won their opener against Manchester, NH and their first matchup against Brownsville, before losing both games today.

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