Monday, July 9, 2012

WW-P 14s stay alive in District One

For the Trentonian
HAMILTON - Many observers felt that Nottingham and West Windsor-Plainsboro would be the two representatives from District 1 competing in next week's 14-year-old South Jersey State Tournament.
But after Hightstown-East Windsor beat both clubs in winner's bracket play, the two instead will battle for the remaining District 1 berth in Tuesday night's losers' bracket final at 7 pm at Nottingham's DeMeo Field.
"If you looked at the bracket before the tournament began, you probably thought it would be us and them in the final," said West Windsor-Plainsboro manager John Radey. "But Hightstown (-East Windsor) has done a nice job. They won the three games they needed."
After defeating Ewing on Sunday to stay alive, West Windsor-Plainsboro won it's second straight game in the loser's bracket. And as they did against Ewing, West Windsor-Plainsboro relied on lights out pitching and some opportunistic offense; defeating Trenton, 9-2.
While Trenton's two pitchers - Jayson Roldan and Ethan Pritchett - were impressive, holding West Windsor-Plainsboro to five hits, they were no match for the West Windsor-Plainsboro duo of Brian Tso and Drew Panson.
Pitching the first three innings, Tso allowed just one hit while striking out seven batters.
"My fastball and change up were working today," said Tso. "I tried to mix things up and got into a pattern. Going fastball, fastball, change."
Panson, who had two of West Windsor-Plainsboro's five hits, including an RBI triple in the fifth, took over in the bottom of the fourth and was equally effective. In four innings of work he allowed just two hits and struck out five.
Panson was also the beneficiary of some nifty glove work from his teammates.
Daquan Sanders, who had two of Trenton's hits, blasted a shot over the head of Daniel Johnson-Cole in centerfield for what looked like a sure extra base hit in the bottom of the fifth but was thrown out at second base on a nifty relay throw; resulting in one of the longer RBI singles in Babe Ruth baseball history.
In the fifth, West Windsor-Plainsboro left fielder George Revock hustled to track down a hit by Davion Hill. Hill hesitated before attempting to go to second and - after a run-down in which seemingly every player from West Windsor-Plainsboro (and possibly one or two players from Trenton) caught the ball at least once - Hill was eventually tagged out for the second out of the inning.
By that time, West Windsor-Plainsboro was holding a 6-1 lead after scoring a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and adding two more insurance runs in the top of the sixth to put things out of reach.
Revock reached on an error with one out in the sixth and Panson tripled to drive him in. Patrick Tso, Brian's brother, then smashed a ball just inside the line for an RBI double.
"Our offense hasn't picked up yet but they pitched a really good game," said Brian Tso. "Both of their pitchers were very good."
Both Roldan, who pitched the first five innings, and Pritchett, who started yesterday's game against Ewing and came on to pitch the final two innings in relief tonight, were dominant at times. Roldan allowed just four hits and allowed just two walks after struggling with his control in the first inning. Pritchett recorded five strikeouts and allowed just one hit and all three runs he allowed were unearned.
"This team was a lot better (than the Trenton team last year in the 13-year-old tournament)," said Sanders. "Our pitchers (Roldan and Pritchett) were very good."
But when it comes to pitching, if the first three days of the tournament are any indication, no team is deeper on the mound than West Windsor-Plainsboro.
"We have a solid team and a lot of good pitchers," said Brian Tso, "We have some good hitters, too."
Facing a Nottingham team looking to make amends from tonight's loss to Hightstown-East Windsor (see related story), Panson knows it will take another strong game to stay alive and reach the tournament finals.
"We weren't expecting that (Nottingham losing to Hightstown-East Windsor)" said Panson. "We're very excited to play them. We just have to go all out. They're a good team. They can pitch and they can make you make mistakes."
"Our offense will come around. Our hitters have just got to be patient and not jump our of your shoes," added Panson. "It's not going to be easy but if we play the way we can it should be a lot of fun."
Especially if their pitchers keep pitching the way they have been pitching.
West Windsor-Plainsboro  220 021 2 - 9 5 0
Trenton 000 100 1 - 2 3 4
WP - Brian Tso. LP - Jayson Roldan. 2B - W - Patrick Tso. 3B - W - Drew Panson. RBI -W - Patrick Tso 2, George Revock 2, Daniel Johnson-Cole, Panson T - Daquan Sanders, Ethan Pritchett. SB - W - Patrick Tso 2, Matt Kooker, Panson T - Jabree Funchers 2.


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