LEWISBURG — After a season-opening road loss to Berwick, Lewisburg’s American Legion baseball team is beginning to show its true colors.
Post 182 won its second game in a row following Friday’s 5-2 triumph over Hughesville in a Susquehanna Valley American Legion League cross-over game at the Kelly Township Fields.
“It’s a huge win. I love cross-over games and I love playing the guys from Hughesville,” said Lewisburg manager Luke Smith. “Hughesville is a good team, and I was very impressed with them and very impressed with how we played.
Even with the absence of a couple key players — Dakotah Snyder and Nick Shedleski — Lewisburg (2-1) got quality games from the remaining members of the team who were present.
“Not everyone was there today, but the guys who we had in the field did everything that we asked of them,” said Smith. “The guys were listening, and they bought into everything we were telling them.”
Post 182 got on the board first with a run to open the game.
Beginning with a lead-off walk by Andrew Ramirez and a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Hoover, Aaron Strosser singled to right and Josh Heath followed with a line drive to right to bring Ramirez home.
Hughesville tied the game in the top of the second on an RBI single by Chase Bremigen.
But in the bottom half of the second, Post 182’s offense really started clicking to take the lead for good.
A lead-off walk by Dustin Terry got the inning started, and after the first out was made Ramirez drew his second walk of the game prior to both players advancing on a wild pitch. Then with two outs, Strosser lined a single to center to bring home both Terry and Ramirez for a 3-1 lead.
“One of the things I’m trying to point out to the guys is if we can get runs early in the game we can get momentum,” said Smith. “You can gain confidence early on against the opposing pitcher — especially going into their second at-bats.”
Lewisburg’s lead increased to 5-1 in the third when Jacob Brooks followed Colt Kline’s walk with an RBI double to center. Brooks would advance to third on a groundout before scoring on an RBI single to right by Terry.
Hughesville got a run back in the top of the seventh, but with Jack Landis on the mound Post 182 prevailed.
Landis, who came in relief of Hoover in the third, struck out two and walked two, but he only gave up one hit an earned run to close out the game.
“Jack Landis looked unbelievable on the mound. We need a guy who can hit his spots and dice (the other team) up. When he got down in the count he wasn’t afraid to throw his slider, and throw it in the zone, and he kept them off-balance,” said Smith.
“We didn’t give Hughesville any runs today. They earned their runs today — I will never be mad about that — and we didn’t have a single error. When you play a ballgame and you don’t have an error — you won’t be losing many of those games.”
Strosser led Lewisburg at the plate with a 2-for-3 that included a pair of RBI, plus Colt Kline led a staunch defensive effort with several fine plays from his second base spot.
Kline saved a pair of runs in the third by snagging a line drive off the bat of Hughesville’s Devon Swank.
Timely hitting and spectacular defense went hand-in-hand for Post 182 in the game.
“If we play good defense, we will get timely hitting. (Our success late in the game) I think is attributed to the confidence we have in ourselves, and playing well defensively and pitching well,” said Smith.
“Losing your first game, the guys can tend to get down a little bit, but we didn’t. They came back and got a nice win against Williamsport (on Wednesday), and then we got a good win against Hughesville and manager Gary Gordner — who was going to do everything he could do to win, but our guys believed in themselves — and that’s all I can ask.”
Lewisburg 5, Hughesville 2
Hughesville 010 000 1 — 2-2-1
Lewisburg 122 000 x — 5-5-0
Chance Webb, Mike Hill (2), Grady Oden (4), Devon Swank (7) and Chase Bremigen. Aaron Hoover, Jack Landis (3) and Kadyn Magyar, Kaiden Wagner (3).
WP: Landis. LP: Webb.
Hughesville hitters: Brock Stroup, single, walk, run scored; Bremigen, single, RBI; Jared Snyder, walk, run; Matt Myers, walk; Oden, RBI.
Lewisburg hitters: Andrew Ramirez, 2 walks, 2 runs scored; Aaron Strosser, 2-for-4, 2 RBI; Josh Heath, single, RBI; Colt Kline, single, walk, RBI, run; Jacob Brooks, double, walk, RBI, run; Dustin Terry, single, walk, run; Kaiden Wagner, walk.