The weather gods at Erie Pennsylvania did not permit the championship game to be played on Sunday, August 5, 2012, but fans were nevertheless treated to some of the best games of the year between the top three teams in the world, including extra inning affairs on Saturday night between the number 2 and number 3 teams, (Jarvis vs. Hill United) and another on Sunday in the semi final matchup between the number one and number two teams. (Hill United vs. NY Gremlins)
The rain began late in the semi final game on Sunday between United and the New York Gremlins and quickly turned into a torrential downpour which render the fields unplayable for the championship game.
Hill United rebounded from a tough extra inning loss to Jarvis on Saturday night, to knock off the number one team in the world, New York Gremlins on Sunday in their semi final match-up 6-5. The two games were mirror images, both seesaw battles decided in the final at-bat.
Jarvis 11, PA Power 2, 5 innings
Jarvis took the momentum from their extra inning win over Hill United on Saturday night and kept it going on Sunday against PA Power. Jarvis came into the game as the number three ranking of the world, with PA Power # 5. Lucas Mata started for PA Power, but was replaced after just one inning. Jarvis continued the onslaught against reliever Karl Gollan, in a game that was over nearly before it began. Jarvis found out five home runs en route to the victory.
Hill United 7, NY Gremlins 5, 8 innings
Hill United ace Adam Folkard did not see action on Sunday, but pitchers Mike Joseph and Mitch Hardy combined for a victory over the NY Gremlin’s ace, Andrew Kirkpatrick, who came on in relief for starter Juan Potolicchio (who was on loan from Minnesota, with Brian Newton absent for the weekend).
Hill United scored two runs in the eighth inning, with linear gremlin scoring one of their own coming up just short for the 7 to 6 final. There were plenty of home runs to go around in this one as well, in spite of a wind blowing in on this diamond,including Hill United’s Jason Hill and Nick Shailes, and the Gremlins’ Jeremy Tracy, Pat Shannon, Andrew Kirkpatrick.
Juan Potolicchio started for the Gremlins, striking out five in the first two innings and pitching effectively, before being relieved by Andrew Kirkpatrickat midway point. The game was a seesaw battle that saw the Gremlins take a one run lead into the seventh. Hill United sent the game into extra innings, scoring two in the seventh, on a chalk line single by Jeff Ellsworth down the left-field line, followed by a home run by Nick Shailes. The game generated a bit of controversy on a close play at the plate, with Hill United’s Mark Arsenault sliding and safely for the first of two runs in the top half of the eighth inning for Hill. Arsenault was tagged out initially by the Gremlins’ Pat Shannon, but Arsenalt jarred the ball loose. The two then scramble for homelike with Arsenalt determined to be safe with the run.
Jarvis was awarded the ISC berth for 2013, as Hill United had already earned one at Tavistock earlier this year.
The championship game not played, Jarvis and Hill United co-champions of the 2012 of the Ed McCormick Hall of Fame tournament
Kudos to Bill Hillhouse and company for bring on a fine tournament, which featured the top three teams in the world, for the top five, and five of the top 10, and providing some great competition for all teams leading up to the ISC world tournament next week. The town of Erie and teams competing enjoyed the Argentine junior national team which kicked off a three-week tour of the United States in Erie PA. The team was last seen enjoying some great hospitality with pizza and cooling off in the swimming pool at the “UN/Grand Central Station” (also known as the Hillhouse residence) on Sunday following the conclusion of the tournament. The youngsters from Argentina will hit the road on Monday morning, heading to Cleveland where they will take in a major league baseball game at the Cleveland Indians ballpark before moving on to several towns in Michigan where they will play exhibition contests, finally arriving in Midland Michigan for the upcoming ISC world tournament.