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Barre and Rotary win Midget playoff semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 20 July 2018 at 8:31 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Owen Bentley gets set to take a healthy cut at the ball for Barre during Thursday evening’s Albion Midget League semifinal playoff win over host Carlton.

Barre downed host Carlton 8-4 and Rotary-Lions outlasted host Sandstone 20-16 in the semifinals of the Albion Midget League playoffs Thursday evening.

Barre and Rotary-Lions will now meet in the championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Albion Midget League field.

Finn McCue delivers a pitch for Carlton

Barre 8, Carlton 4
The Barre Cubs earned a fourth straight appearance in the title game by downing the Carlton Clippers on a strong pitching performance from Nathan Gibson.

Gibson struck out 13 batters and scattered just 5 hits over 6 innings.

Carlton also had strong pitching from Finn McCue and Dylan Narburgh as they combined for 12 strikeouts.

Carlton scored first on home runs in the 2nd inning by Andrew Boyce and Noah Kowalski.  Boyce ended the night with 2 hits, as did Narburgh and Caiyden Wilson.

At the plate for Barre, Gibson and Lucas Martin had 3 hits each and Josh Bovenzi added 2 more hits.

The title game will also see Albion class of 1994 friends and classmates Mike Beach (Barre) and Greg Bennett (Rotary/Lions) facing each other as coaches for the first time in the Championship.

Nick Martino in action on the mound for Sandstone.

Beach actually played for Rotary as a boy and Bennett played for Elks.  Both have been involved as coaches in the league for a number of years, most recently with their sons, but also right after graduating as well when they coached younger siblings with their father and friends.

Rotary-Lions 20, Sandstone 16
A big 9 run sixth inning, highlighted by doubles by Garrett Miller and Noah Harrison, keyed  the win for Rotary-Lions.

Trailing 20-8 after that scoring burst, Sandstone did rally for 8 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning sparked by a two-run double by Drew Pritchard and a two-run single by Cencere Lowe.

However, Rotary-Lions got out of the jam as second baseman Leah Pawlak made a clutch play to get the final out with the bases loaded and preserve the win.

Earlier, Rotary-Lions had scored 3 times in the first inning as Xavier Byrd had a double, 4 times in the third as Harrison had a triple and 3 times in the fourth as Pawlak had a two-run double. Harrison had 4 hits on the day

Sandstone also had a big 7 run third inning featuring a three-run home run by Nick Martino and a homer by Nolan Sullivan.

Kaiden Froman bangs out a hit for Rotary-Lions during Thursday’s semifinal win over host Sandstone.