The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

April 13, 2014

Crushers roll to Gene Schultz Tournament championship

In the four-year history of the Gene Schultz Memorial Tournament, the Bishop McCort baseball team has never lost a game, and the host Crimson Crushers kept that unblemished record intact Saturday with a 10-1 championship victory over Spotswood (N.J.) at Point Stadium.

“This tournament is special to our program because of Coach Schultz and his legacy,” said McCort coach Chris Pfeil. “Our guys came out focused today and hit the ball well.”

Bishop McCort’s Ethan Neiderhiser took home the tourney MVP award thanks to picking up the win on the mound in the opener and adding four hits and three RBI combined in the two games.

“We played together as a team today,” said Neiderhiser. “We played good all around baseball, and everybody contributed.”

Spotswood coach Glenn Fredricks is no stranger to Johnstown, as he also manages the New Brunswick AAABA team.

“We tried to impress on our kids how great of an experience it is to play baseball in Johnstown,” Fredricks said. “I appreciate Coach Pfeil’s invitation to come here, and even though the final score in the championship didn’t go in our favor, it was still a great experience because of how well we were treated and how everyone here respects the game.”

The Crushers (6-1) advanced to the title game with a mercy-rule shortened 17-2 opening-round win over Westmont Hilltop. A four-run first inning outburst against the Chargers (4-2) gave pitcher Coleman all the support he needed. Coleman, who won the Most Valuable Pitcher award, struck out 10 and walked one while scattering six hits in six innings.

“My curveball was on, and I was able to throw for strikes and stay ahead in the count,” Coleman said. “The rest of the guys took a lot of pressure off me by giving me a lead right away and doing a great job in the field.”

The Chargers earned a berth in the title game with an 8-2 win over Conemaugh Township in their opening contest.

Nathan Neiderhiser’s two-run single and Ethan Neiderhiser’s run-scoring hit helped the Crushers take a quick 4-0 lead.

Bishop McCort scored in every inning, and the Crushers’ nine hits were aided by five Spotswood errors.

All-tourney team member Alex Sobecky’s run-scoring single made it 7-1 in the third, and the Crushers added single tallies in the fourth through sixth innings to set the eventual final. Ethan and Nathan Neiderhiser both had a pair of hits for the Crushers, while Nemo Trexler added a run-scoring single. Jeremy Adams was the third Crusher all-tournament team member.

The consolation game saw Westmont Hilltop (2-3) come from behind to earn a 5-4 win over Conemaugh Township (1-5). Jeff Callihan’s two-run single put the Indians up 2-0 in the first, but the Hilltoppers eventually took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on run-scoring hits by Liam Moran and Noah Gordon.

Conemaugh Township tied it in the top of the sixth on Bruno Rosa’s single but missed a chance to regain the lead when Mike Roman was thrown out at the plate on the play.

Westmont Hilltop’s Sam Curry scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth when he led off with a triple and later beat the throw home on Dylan Kmecak’s fielder’s choice grounder.

Mike Roper and Kohl Henry each had two hits for the Hilltoppers to earn spots on the all-tourney team as did the Indians’ Jake Grosik.

“Both teams battled,” said Westmont coach Paul Knupp. “It came down to who took advantage of their opportunities.”

Conemaugh Township coach Sam Zambanini felt his team “had chances but couldn’t get the timely hit.”


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