by PONY League
WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania – Game #4 of the Dick’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series matched up the European
Zone champions from the Netherlands, making its first ever appearance at the Dick’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series and the hometown kids from Washington, PA.
In the top of the first, the Netherlands jumped ahead quickly in the top of the first when starting pitcher Nick Boxelaar scored third baseman Raydley Legito on a RBI groundout for the early 1-0 lead.
In the opening game of the 2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series for Washington, it was not only 10-runed in five innings by Germany, but it was also no-hit. The fortunes were much different this year for the hometown boys, as they took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first.
With one out, Washington loaded the bases with back-to- back hits and reaching on an error to load the bases. Right Fielder Connor McMahon singled in starting pitcher Nick Popielarczyk with an RBI single and third baseman Chad Johnson scored on a wild pitch.
The Netherlands had a bases loaded situation of its own in the top of the third after a walk, single and bunt single. Popielarczyk settled down for Washington and limited the damage to just one run, an RBI groundout by the Netherlands centerfielder Emile Haswell to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, Washington its one run lead on an RBI single by catcher Mekos Mantalis, making the score 3-2. Washington ultimately loaded the bases with one out and took a 4-2 lead when Johnson drove in a run being hit by a pitch.
The threat ended after a double play and the score stayed 4-2 after four innings. Justin Naylor relieved Popielarczyk in the fifth inning for Washington, whose day ended with a line of four innings, allowing two runs (one earned), four hits, one walk and struck out five, and the Netherlands put two runners in scoring position against Naylor, but couldn’t get a run across to cut the deficit.
Mantalis had lightning in his bat as he was the spark for Washington, when in the bottom of the fifth, he hit a three-run blast to left field, his second hit and fourth RBI of the game, giving Washington a commanding 7-2 lead.
Naylor added to Washington’s lead with a two out RBI double and was followed by Johnson with an RBI single to give Washington a 9-2 lead after five innings.
Washington held the Netherlands in the seventh inning to pick up the victory 9-2. Popielarczyk is awarded the victory, while Naylor threw three innings of relief, allowing no runs, one hit, one walk and struck out one.
The Netherlands starter, Boxelaar, receives the loss, allowing four runs (two earned), eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts over four innings. Danny Albinus and Guy van Son combuned for two innings of relief. Albinus allowed five runs (all earned) and six hits, while van Son allowed a single hit.
Washington earned its first victory in the Dick’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series since 2014 and moves on in the winner’s bracket to face West Zone champion Covina, CA tomorrow at noon. The Netherlands gets one more chance to keep its first trip at the Dick’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series alive as it faces Brownsville, TX in an elimination game tomorrow night at five.