Pirates sink Lions 10-3 in state tourney quarterfinals

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Manila senior Brett Sweatman drives a double down the left field line during state quarterfinal action Saturday at Harrison.

Greenland scored six runs in the fourth inning and went on to hand Manila a 10-3 loss, eliminating the Lions from the 3A State Tournament during Saturday’s quarterfinal action at Harrison.

The two teams were tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the fourth when the Pirates exploded for six runs to blow the game open. Will Overton began the Pirate rally with a leadoff double. Dusty Reynolds scored Overton with a single into right field. Luke Osborn followed with another RBI single, this time to centerfield, making the score 3-1. Chandler Laaniz kept the hit parade going for Greenland with an RBI single just out of the reach of shortstop Brock Birmingham. Blake Hatch brought in a run with an RBI groundout before Austin Anderson capped off the inning with a two-run single, giving Greenland a 7-1 lead.

Brett Sweatman gave Manila a glimmer of hope by banging a two-run double off the left field wall in the top of the fifth, cutting the Pirate lead to 7-3. But Greenland answered with a run in the bottom of the inning and two more in the bottom of the sixth to close out the win.

Ethan Navarro fights off a pitch during Manila's first round state tournament matchup against Benton Harmony Grove. The Lions defeated the Cardinals 3-1 Thursday at Harrison.

Abraham Lopez absorbed the loss, going 3 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on five hits. Sweatman pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out six.

Sweatman finished 2-2 with a single, a double and two RBI. Anthony Lopez had Manila’s only other hit and scored a run. Brock Birmingham crossed the plate twice while Michael Jorgensen picked up an RBI.

“We had some balls today that we normally turn into outs, but we just didn’t get them,” said Lion Coach Jason Crane. “You have to give all the credit to Greenland. They have a solid lineup one through nine. They have a very good approach at the plate and do a great job of spraying the ball to all fields. That’s an impressive lineup they have. I felt like Abraham Lopez gave us a chance on the mound, but defensively, we didn’t have a very good day. Even though we have a young team, we wanted to do something special this year. We have only one senior, Brett Sweatman, and we wanted to send him out on a good note. We wanted to get better every day at something, and that’s what we did. This team has a lot of character. I’m proud of them. They are a bunch of good kids. They are blue collar, hard-working kids that are fun to coach."

“Brett Sweatman, down the stretch, is what every coach wants to have in a player,” continued Crane. “He got big hit after big hit, especially in the post season.”

Manila advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 first round victory Thursday over Benton Harmony Grove. The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the first inning when Hunter Hilson cracked an RBI single. Layne Sims tied the game in the second inning, scoring on an errant throw by Cardinal catcher Logan Gartin. The Lions took the lead for good in the third on Brady Clark’s RBI double, scoring Michael Jorgensen, who had singled earlier in the frame.

Ethan Navarro cracked a double in the fourth inning and scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Anthony Lopez, pushing the Lion lead to 3-1. Benton Harmony Grove tacked on a run in the seventh to set the final score at 3-2.

Jorgensen went the distance to earn the victory, scattering five hits and giving up two earned runs.

Manila finishes the season with a 23-13 record.

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