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Punxsutawney places third at St. Marys

July 25, 2011

Willie Hoover, Conner Giavedoni, Cameron Smith; (middle) Austin Ewing, Ethan Blose, Andrew Britton, Logan Johnston, Dylan Ishman, Isaac Stoufer; (back) manager Mark Ewing, coach Eric Britton and coach Mike Ishman. (Photo by Lizi Arbogast/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

ST. MARYS — Punxsutawney placed third out of 15 teams this past weekend at the St. Marys 9-& 10 year old Little League tournament.

"The two teams that were ahead of us were exceptional, but we hung right in there," Punxsy manager Mark Ewing said. "Third place out of 15 teams is pretty respectable in my eyes and the other coaches."

Punxsy began the weekend by playing three games Saturday.

Punxsy first faced Four Leaf from Clearfield and won 18-4 then immediately played Orchard Park from Buffalo, N.Y. but lost 15-11.

The loss put Punxsy in the losers' bracket, where it took on and eliminated Johnsonburg, 7-4.

Punxsy saw four games of action Sunday, beginning with Elk County Tool and Die, of St. Marys. Punxsy was very familiar with this team, having beat it in the championships of the Craig Lewis Memorial Tournament last weekend. A six-run final inning gave Punxsy the victory, 14-4.

In Punxsy's lowest scoring game of the tournament, it beat Luigi's, a team from DuBois, 3-0. With the win, Punxsy had eliminated its third team of the tournament and advanced to the losers' bracket semi-final.

During the semi-final, Punxsutawney beat Orchard Park 11-1 in five innings.

Orchard Park scored its only run during the top of the sixth inning, and Punxsy got off to a quick start, scoring three runs.

Logan Johnston had a two-RBI single, scoring Willie Hoover and Austin Ewing. Johnston was then able to cross home plate after an RBI-single by Daren Byers.

Punxsy continued to add to that lead during the third inning when Isaac Stouffer homered to deep center field.

Another run was scored for Punxsy during the bottom of the fourth when Eric Britton hit an RBI-single driving in Byers.

The fifth and final inning was Punxsy's most productive of the game.

Stouffer got his second RBI of the game when he drove home Ewing. Stouffer also recorded his second run off a single by Derek Huey.

Ethan Blose had a two- RBI single, scoring Huey and Byers, and Hoover had the game-winning RBI-double. He scored Blose and ended the game via the ten-run rule.

Following Punxsy's win, it immediately took on the Philipsburg Osceola All-Stars in the losers' bracket championship. The winner would advance to compete for the tournament championship. It was during this game that Punxsy's tournament run ended, falling 8-4 to Philipsburg.

Huey was the star for Punxsy during the loss, scoring three of the four RBIs and hitting two doubles.

The other RBI went to Stouffer, who scored Hoover after he led off with a double.

During a hot and humid July weekend, manager Ewing said he was pleased with his team's performance.

"They fought through the heat, playing four games pretty much back-to-back-to-back," Ewing said. "The boys came out and hit the ball pretty well and pitched well."

Ewing said he was slightly disappointed in his team's defense, which was inconsistent throughout the tournament.

"Defense was a hit and miss," he said. "(They) could've done better at some times and couldn't have been better at other times, but overall (I'm) really proud of them. It was a really good weekend in my eyes."

Punxsy will play again this weekend in a round-robin tournament hosted in Punxsutawney. The first game for Ewing's team is slated for 6 p.m. Friday against Clymer.

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