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13/14 Teener Leaguers move on up behind 2-1 weekend

July 16, 2012

In this photo from last Friday, Punxsy VFW Junior Legion player Lance Pennington prepares to step into the batter's box. Pennington had two doubles, a single and pitched four shutout innings for Punxsy's 13- and 14-year-old VFW Teener League team over the weekend, as the team advanced to the next level with a 2-1 record. (Photo by Zak Lantz of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsy's 13- and 14-year-old VFW Teener League team had a successful weekend, going 2-1 and advancing to the next tournament, with future host Phillipsburg-Osceola already having an automatic berth.

Punxsy opened the tournament Friday with a convincing 8-2 victory over Curwensville in Curwensville.

Punxsy's Dylan Huey scored the first run out of the leadoff spot in the top of the first inning, but a two-run fourth inning put the home team ahead 2-1.

Punxsy answered right back in the fifth with the help of five walks and one hit — a single by Lucas Ambler. Trent Stouffer, Caanaan Knox, Huey and Ryan Jones started the fifth with four straight free passes, and Ambler's single, a walk by Peyton Graham and an E3 allowing Keeston Perry to reach safely helped Punxsy open up a 5-2 lead.

Punxsy added three insurance runs in the sixth with the help of singles off the bats of Tyler Geer, Huey and Jones and free passes issued to Ambler and Caleb Smith.

Graham got the starting nod for Punxsy and pitched 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on one hit and fanning 10 to earn the win.

Jones came on in relief to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings, fanning three and walking one.

After earning a 10-6 win over Clearfield in the opening round, Phillipsburg-Osceola advanced to the winners' bracket final against Punxsy.

Punxsy erupted for eight runs over the first three innings, including a two-run first, and went on to earn an 11-8 victory.

Huey led things off with a walk, and after a single by Jones and another walk to Lance Pennington, a hit batsman to Ambler allowed one run to score.

Jones also came around and crossed home plate with the help of a fielder's choice off Perry's bat and a hit batsman to DiPietro.

In the second, Punxsy added one more on three singles — one each by Smith, Huey and Ambler.

With Pennington dealing on the mound, Punxsy continued to put up more runs, exploding for a five-run third.

Singles by Keven Hutton, Knox and Jones and free passes to Huey, Perry and DiPietro sparked the big inning.

Punxsy added one more in the fourth to push the lead to 9-0, with Knox leading things off with a one-out single.

A walk and a pair of stolen bases put Smith in scoring position, and back-to-back singles by Huey and Jones added a tally to the scoreboard.

P-O answered with a four-run fifth to make things interesting behind a clutch double by Kody Trude, and followed it up with a four-run sixth, as well.

But back-to-back RBI doubles by Jones and Pennington in the top of the seventh gave Punxsy the insurance it needed.

Unfortunately for Punxsy, P-O got the best of them in the re-match, and with both teams moving on, the rubber match was conceded.

Punxsy jumped out to a two-run lead in the first inning behind hits by Huey, Pennington and Braedon Paulinellie, but P-O exploded for 12 runs over five innings and blanked Punxsy the rest of the way to earn a 12-2, five-innnig victory.

A double by Pennington and a single by Paulinellie were the only two hits mustered by Punxsy's offense over the rest of the game.

Both teams will advance to the next level, which will begin July 27 and be hosted by Phillipsburg.

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