HUNTINGDON — Despite leading early, Punxsy's 15- and 16-year old VFW Teener League All-Stars fell to West Shore Teener League All-Stars, 9-5, in the opening round of the state tournament Friday afternoon in Huntingdon.
Punxsy will play this morning at 9:30 a.m. against Altoona in the opening round of the losers' bracket.
West Shore was the visiting team and scored one run in the top of the first when Mitch Chapman tripled off Punxsy's starter Jamie Bush and scored on an RBI groundout by Jared Lydon.
Punxsy answered with three runs in the bottom half of the first.
Dakota Thomas led off the inning with a double off West Shore starting pitcher Jared Lydon.
Michael Klingensmith then drove a ball out of the park for a two-run home run.
Two hitters later, Jamie Bush followed with a solo home run of his own, giving Punxsy the 3-1 edge.
West Shore tied the game with a run in the second and another in the third, but Punxsy answered back again by scoring two in the third.
Thomas led off the frame with a single, and Michael Klingensmith walked.
Ty Zimmerman walked to load the bases, and West Shore made a pitching move that would prove to be a key one, replacing Lydon with Will Lawerance.
Lawerance allowed a two-RBI single to Bush, with both runs being charged to Lydon, and from that point forward, Punxsy only managed two hits off the curve-ball specialist.
West Shore tied it in the top of the fourth when Dallas Underwood doubled, Lawerance singled, and both runners scored on a two-RBI single by T.J. Osborne.
Cory Geer entered the game to pitch in the fifth inning but struggled and was replaced by Michael Klingensmith, who went the rest of the way for Punxsy.
Bush pitched four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. Geer was charged with two runs, and Klingensmith allowed four runs on three hits.
Punxsy manager Mike Klingensmith said that he and his boys plan on doing their best to battle back through the losers' bracket and win the state championship the hard way, but they all know how difficult it can be, and they have a long road ahead of them.