SELINSGROVE — With chants of one town, one team raining down, Warrior Run is back to within a game of reaching the District 13 Major Division championship.
Chase Knarr hit a big RBI double in the fifth inning in addition to pitching the final 2 2/3 innings of the game to lift Warrior Run to a tight, 2-1 victory over Mifflinburg on Thursday at East Snyder Park.
“That was an unbelievable game, with both teams gutting it out,” said Warrior Run manager Derrick Zechman, whose team took a 4-1 win over Mifflinburg on June 25. “There was also an unbelievable performance from Knarr, not only pitching after he came into a tough situation, but even with the bat getting the game-winning RBI.
“Hat’s off again to Mifflinburg. They are a tough, tough team,” added Zechman.
The game began Wednesday, but was halted by rain before the third inning got underway with the score tied at 0.
In situations like that, it’s often hard to keep players up from one day to the next, but Zechman didn’t have such issues with his boys over the July 4th holiday.
“It’s very tough. When you have to stop a game and come back — it happened to us less than a week ago — and we had trouble getting started again after picking (the game) back up,” said Warrior Run’s manager. “At least in this situation it was a 0-0 game going into the third, but it was an unbelievable game.”
The game was tied at 1 going into the bottom of the fifth.
And with two outs, Tyler Ulrich got the rally started with a single. Ulrich then stole second to set the stage for Knarr, whose big RBI double to left-center field brought home Ulrich with the game-winning run.
“I just stepped up, and it was all for my team. When you come out here and have as much energy as we do — I just came through,” said Knarr. “We just keep the same energy. It doesn’t matter if we play at night or early in the morning, we just keep the same energy.
“It felt really good (to get the RBI double) — to do it for my team and for my coaches,” added Knarr. “To know I got this far, it feels good.”
Mifflinburg took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Cyruss Douty drew a one-out walk prior to Dakota Keister drawing a walk and Remington Noll getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Douty then came home on another walk drawn by Cub Dietrich.
But that was it for Mifflinburg, because the team didn’t have very much luck against Knarr in the final two-plus innings — especially after Warrior Run tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on Landon Polcyn’s RBI single that plated Griffin Harrington.
Knarr faced 10 batters the rest of the way, with six outs coming via strikeout. He also walked two batters.
“We had some momentum on Wednesday, and the rain delay kind of pushed us back. Yeah, it’s tough when you have to play a postponed game,” said Mifflinburg manager Dave Kmett.
“We tried to ride (starting pitcher Kaiden) Kmett as long as we could, but he mustered out at the end. He gave it everything he had — and he had a gash on his hand all week, too. We were babying that and it was hard for him to hold a bat, but he gutted through it.”
Warrior Run next faces Danville, which fell 3-1 to Central Columbia in the winner’s bracket final, today at 5:30 p.m. in the elimination bracket final.
“We’re happy that we’re still in the tournament, and anything can happen,” said Zechman. “Obviously, we have a tough game (today) against Danville, but anything can happen and we play (good) defense.
“There’s three teams left, so as long as you’re still in the tournament you still have a chance.”
District 13 Little League
at East Snyder Park, Selinsgrove
Warrior Run 2, Mifflinburg 1
Mifflinburg 000 100 — 1-4-1
Warrior Run 000 11x — 2-4-0
Kaiden Kmett, Jack Whittaker (5) and Cub Dietrich. Griffin Harrington, Brayden Gower (3), Chase Knarr (4) and Gave Engel, Harrington (3).
WP: Knarr. LP: Kmett.
Mifflinburg hitters: Dietrich, 2 walks, RBI; Cole Reibsome, walk; Kmett, single; Whittaker, walk; Harv Rine, single; Larry Murray, single, walk; Ian Stoltzfus, single; Cyruss Douty, walk, run scored; Dakota Keister, walk.
Warrior Run hitters: Tyler Ulrich, single, stolen base, run scored; Knarr, double, RBI; Harrington, 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, run; Landon Polcyn, single; Cohen Zechman, double, stolen base.