Weber Reflects On 10u All-Stars Section 1 Tournament (07/24/17)
(By CSZ Sportswriter Kenn Staub)
By virtue of winning the District 25 tournament, the Clarion 10u Little League All-Stars advanced to the Section 1 playoffs in Union City held during the third week of July. They finished the tournament with a 1-2 record, defeating Harborcreek in the first round before dropping contests to St. Marys and then Harborcreek in an elimination game. Manager Lee Weber was gracious enough to reflect on his team’s performance for Clarion Sports Zone.
Game 1: Clarion 10 – Harborcreek 6 (Monday, July 17)
Clarion jumped to a 6-0 lead in the first inning by taking advantage of 3 hits, 3 walks, and a Harborcreek error. Derek Smail pitched the first three innings for Clarion, giving up 3 runs (none earned) and surrendering only 2 hits. He was followed by Jayden Siwiecki, who gave up 2 hits and an earned run in his almost 3 innings of work. Jesse Siwiecki closed the game with a strike out. Hitting well for Clarion were Smail (game clinching 3-run homer, single, double), Jesse Siwiecki (double, single)and Hayden Weber (single). Though the team didn’t get many hits, Weber thought his players did a great job not swinging at balls, citing their 8 walks as proof. Matt Alston and Brady Pierce were singled out for their play in the field. After the game, Weber reported being excited to play St. Marys in the second round, noting that they would be a challenge having played well in prior tournaments.
Game 2: St. Marys 11 – Clarion 5 (Tuesday, July 18)
St. Marys opened the game by scoring 4 runs in the top of the first inning. Clarion fought back to within 1 run in the home half of the frame by scoring 3 runs, with Aiden Coulson smashing a double to left. Each team added a run in the second, making the score 5-4 in St. Marys favor. St. Marys put up 2 more in the third to jump ahead 7-4, before being held scoreless by Clarion pitcher Jesse Siwiecki in the fourth and fifth. During that time Clarion inched closer when Brady Pierce stole home. Clarion would score no more and St. Marys tacked on 4 in the sixth to set the final at 11-5. Following the game Weber commented, “Normally we play solid defense but today was not our day in that category. Hopefully we can bounce back.”
Game 3: Harborcreek 16 – Clarion 8 (Wednesday, July 19)
After falling to St. Marys, Clarion was tasked with facing Harborcreek the next night in an elimination game. Unfortunately for the home town team, they were a little shorthanded in the pitching department, having used most of their regulars in the previous 2 games. To this end, Weber commended Brady Pierce and Aiden Coulson for being ready to meet the challenge posed by an experienced Harborcreek team.
Pierce got the start for Clarion and did not surrender any earned runs in his 3 inning stint. Unfortunately Clarion fell behind 6-0 in the first owing to inconsistent defense. Pierce proceeded to shut out Harborcreek during the next 2 innings using a combination of fastballs, change-ups, and curves. Harborcreek’s lull in scoring gave Clarion the opportunity to battle back, as the boys in red, white, and blue made the score 6-5. Jesse Siwiecki, Jayden Siwiecki, and Matt Alston all added important hits during Clarion’s 5 run comeback. Coulson followed Pierce on the mound, throwing strikes but hurt by 5 errors over the final 3 innings. Weber noted that despite their struggles on defense the team did not get down on itself and continued to battle until the last pitch. He complemented Jesse Siwiecki on having an excellent day at the plate, going 3-3 with 2 triples and a walk. Weber also commented that Harborcreek, having seen Derek Smail’s ability at the plate on Monday, was reluctant to pitch to the young man. Despite this, Smail smashed a double amongst his 3 walks.
Weber concluded his reflections on the Section 1 tournament by saying he and his fellow coaches were very proud of how the team played and the upstanding manner in which they comported themselves. He said the people at Union City voiced their appreciation for the team’s style of play and their on- and off-field behavior. Weber concluded by add that the players should be proud of themselves and thanked the parents for raising such great kids.
(Thanks to Kenn Staub for this article and to Emily Coulson for the photo. Also thanks to Coach Weber providing information. GREAT JOB, All-Stars!!!!)