Youth Baseball

It’s rare to have a baseball game that finishes in a 2-0 score. It is much more infrequent when the game is being played by 11 and 12-year-olds. But that is exactly what happened when the Penn Yan 11-12 year-old All-Stars matched up in the championship game of the Keuka Classic Sunday against Watkins Glen.

It took seven innings (the normal contest is six) but the Penn Yan squad outlasted Watkins Glen, took the game, and the tournament championship on Sunday.

The game was tied 0-0 after six innings. Both teams made sparkling defensive plays and were the beneficiaries of solid pitching up until that point. Tony Sciallo started the game for Penn Yan, throwing three strong innings. Shortstop Aiden Griffiths helped Sciallo with a double play in the second inning to erase the first Watkins Glen baserunner. Watkins managed to push the leadoff hitter to third base in the third inning but a pop-out to first baseman Colin Johnson and two groundballs that Sciallo took himself ended the threat.

Meanwhile, Penn Yan struggled offensively. Right fielder Colin Alexander broke up the no-hitter in the third inning when he smacked a single to left field. He would get to second but was stranded there.

Watkins Glen again pushed a runner to third base in the fourth inning, but Penn Yan’s defense was stout as a fly ball to left field and two more ground balls ended the threat.

Penn Yan actually loaded the bases in the top of the fifth inning but came away without a run. As the teams went into extra innings, Penn Yan finally managed to break through. Sciallo and Johnson were on second and third as second baseman Connor Andersen came to the plate. Anderson worked a full count and then smashed a ground rule double that hopped over the left-center field wall and plated both runners, making it 2-0.

Griffiths, working his third inning on the mound in relief, induced a fly ball to Andersen at second and struck out the next hitter to record the first two outs before allowing a baserunner. Watkins Glen’s cleanup hitter came to the plate and worked the count to 2-2 before Griffiths struck him out, ending the threat and clinching the win for Penn Yan.

The team faces Watkins Glen at home on Saturday at 7 p.m., before playing in the Naples tournament next week.