Punxsy comes up short in state tournament

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsy's 15- and 16-year-old VFW Teener League All- Stars fell to Altoona, 3-2, in the opening round of the losers' bracket at the state tournament Saturday in Huntingdon.

Things looked promising for Punxsy, which jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but Punxsy was only able to manage one hit throughout the final six innings and was eliminated with the loss.

Punxsy manager Mike Klingensmith said he's been around this game long enough to know, "Sometimes, the hits just don't come your way."

This weekend, that was the case for his team.

Leadoff hitter Dakota Thomas led off the first inning with a single.

Christian Falgout singled and advanced to second on an error by the left-fielder. Thomas scored on the error, giving Punxsy the early lead.

Falgout scored on an RBI single by Jamie Bush, but Punxsy was held hitless for five innings before Taylor Phillips managed a single to lead off the top of the seventh.

Altoona scored one in the third and one in the fifth to tie the score at two, and that was the score when Phillips reached in the seventh.

He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a wild pitch, but that was as far as the go-ahead run would make it for Punxsy.

Altoona capitalized in the seventh, scoring a run on a Punxsy scoring error and ending the game.

Michael Klingensmith pitched two scoreless innings for Punxsy, striking out four and allowing just one hit. Scotty Thompson pitched the final five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and was charged with the loss.

Despite the fact that his boys lost, manager Klingensmith emphasized that he was proud of them for playing their hardest. Even without winning a game at the state tournament, they still placed seventh in the state for the VFW Teener League All-Stars.

Although many of his players will move up to Senior Legion next year, Klingensmith said he looks forward to continuing to follow their development as ball players and to seeing how far they can go next year.