Seventh-inning rally saves Allentown in Mid-Atlantic Regional – Trentonian


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — To say the Allentown American Legion team’s games in the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Regional have been gut-wrenching would be a bit of an understatement.

After one-run contests in each of their first two outings, A’town would seem to have had an easier time of it Friday when it defeated Delaware Veterans Post 1, 5-2, in an elimination game at Dale Miller Field within the Anker Fields Complex of Mylan Park.

That was not the case.

Despite a splendid, complete-game pitching effort from Allentown High graduate Devin Nitschmann, the offense for manager Sahil Thakur’s squad did not come alive until the top of the seventh inning.

Trailing by a run with one out and runners at second and third base after a Slade Harrill single, a Mike Doran walk and a wild pitch, Tom Strauch worked a 3-1 count against DelVets hurler Colin Pie, then fouled off three straight pitches before sending the next offering over the left-field wall for a three-run home run.

The two-time defending New Jersey state champs were not done as Jacob Kramer was hit by a pitch, then Griffin Murphy singled off new pitcher Kenyon Motley to put runners at the corners.

Alex Bischoff, A’town’s youngest player, proceeded to loft a sacrifice fly to give his team its winning margin.

Nitschmann took it from there.

Four days removed from celebrating his 18th birthday, the right-hander from Cream Ridge struck out Sean Bogan looking and Vince Offutt swinging before enticing Nate Huxtable to line out to Tommy Kendrick in right field to end the game.

Nitschmann finished with a four-hitter in which the only runs he allowed were unearned. He hit one batter, walked two and struck out three to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Strauch led Allentown’s attack by producing half his team’s hits. The Arcadia University-bound shortstop from Howell went 3-for-4 with a run scored and three runs batted in on his clutch round-tripper, the game’s only extra-base hit.

With the win, A’town (22-5) stays alive and reaches the national regional’s final four for a second consecutive summer. The Mercer County American Legion League co-champs will meet Chesapeake, Va. Post 280 Saturday at either 1 or 4 pm

Saturday’s game time was to be decided by the outcome of Friday’s 7 pm winner’s bracket final between Frederick, Md. Francis Scott Key Post 11 and Chesapeake. If Chesapeake lost, it meets A’town at 1 pm If it wins, the Virginia champs will play New Jersey at 4 pm

Allentown (22-5) 010 000 4 — 5 6 2

Delaware Veterans (12-9) 000 020 0 — 2 4 0

HR: Strauch (A); RBI: Strauch 3, Bischoff, Barth (A).

WP — Nitschmann (5-0); LP — Pie.

American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional

(at Dale Miller Field, Morgantown, W.Va.)

Wednesday, Aug. 3

Frederick, Md. FSK 8, Boyertown, Pa. 4

Chesapeake, Va. 6, Delaware Veterans 5

Allentown 4, South Charleston, W.Va. 3 (11 innings)

Philipsburg, Pa. 5, Morgantown, W.Va. 1

Thursday, Aug. 4

South Charleston, W.Va. 3, Boyertown 3 (Boyertown, Pa. Post 471 eliminated)

Delaware Veterans 3, Morgantown 2 (Morgantown, W.Va. Post 2 eliminated)

Frederick, Md. FSK 9, Allentown 8

Chesapeake, Va. vs. Philipsburg, Pa., suspended (rain)

Friday, Aug. 5

Chesapeake, Va. 10, Philipsburg, Pa. 0

Allentown 5, Delaware Veterans 2 (Delaware Veterans Post 1 eliminated)

Philipsburg, Pa. 6, South Charleston, W.Va. 3 (South Charleston, W.Va. Post 94 eliminated)

Frederick, Md. FSK Post 11 vs. Chesapeake, Va. Item 280, (n)

Saturday, Aug. 6

Game 12/13: Allentown vs. Chesapeake, Va. Post 280, 1/4 pm

Game 12/13: Philipsburg, Pa. Item 437 vs. Frederick, Md. FSK Post 11, 1/4 pm

Sunday, Aug. 7

Game 14: Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 1 p.m

Game 15: If necessary/Game 14 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 4 p.m

[Note: If 3 teams remain after Game 13, the Game 11 winner automatically moves to Game 15]

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