The State College Little League 12-year-old All-Stars were handed their first loss of the season Sunday in a 3-2 heart-breaker in extras against East Pennsboro in the second round of the Section 4 tournament in Mechanicsburg.
The District 6 champs, East Pennsboro were last year’s Pennsylvania state champs as 11-year-olds.
“That’s a heck of baseball team,” State College coach Matt Gaul said. “We were there until the very end. Our guys played really hard, but we just came up a little short.”
State College took the first lead of the game in the top of the fourth. Mikey Gaul hit a triple on a line drive to center field, and was hit home off a ground out by Michael Powell.
An inside-the-park home run on a line drive to left field scored two for East Pennsboro in the bottom of the inning, and gave them the lead.
Overall, Sunday’s game was a pitchers’ duel. State College’s pitching combination of Mikey Gaul, Gavin Kendrick and Sebastian Rhoades gave up just two hits, while East Pennsboro gave up three.
I think our guys pitched great,” Matt Gaul said. “Two hits against out pitchers, they pitched great.”
State College tied things up in the top of the sixth when Mikey Gaul ran home on an East Pennsboro error to send the game to extras.
It was an error on a fly ball to center field in the bottom of the eighth that sealed the deal for East Pennsboro.
State College’s season, however, is not yet over in the double-elimination tournament. They play again at 6 p.m. Monday against Hollidaysburg for a chance to face East Pennsboro again in the championship game Tuesday.
“After today, that was a hard one,” Matt Gaul said of the loss. “They took that one pretty hard. They knew they had that game and it just slipped away from us at the end. But they’re great kids, they’re a great group. They’ll come back and they’ll play hard.”
To follow State College Little League in real time, go to: https://gc.com/t/summer-2019/little-league-state-college-12u-all-stars-12u-5cf3c10771206646b4943a37