ATHENS — The Wellsboro major All-Star team were unable to hand the Athens All-Star team their first loss of the year as they were buried beneath a big, seven-run first inning that pushed the game out of reach early on their way to 13-5 win for the District 15 Majors Championship on Friday, July 9.
In their previous game against Sayre, the Wellsboro team showed some grit as the game began on Wednesday, July 7 and saw the score tied at five apiece in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs and the bases loaded.
A lightning strike and storm delayed the game which had to be picked up the next evening.
The game went back-and-forth before being postponed, with Sayre getting out to an early lead scoring one run in the top of the first, second and third innings.
But Wellsboro rallied back behind some timely hitting led by a monstrous homerun over the centerfield fence by Griffin Morral in the third inning that closed the gap to 3-2 and sparked the comeback for Wellsboro.
Going into the sixth inning, Wellsboro found themselves down just 5-4 and would need some late-game magic to turn the tides and pick up the win.
They would score the tying run in the frame, with Trevor Martin crossing home plate.
Wellsboro would later load the bases and set the stage for Morral once again, but the weather had other plans for the Wellsboro comeback effort.
As Morral got to the batter’s box, the storm would begin forcing a postponement to the next night with only one at-bat left to decide the outcome.
After a long wait, the Wellsboro team showed no rust, as Morral once again played hero over 24 hours later and made the play of the night with a walk-off single that slid past the defense of Sayre to score the winning run ad send Sayre packing and punch their ticket to the championship.
Morral would finish the day a perfect 2-2 batting with the two biggest hits of the night with a home run and the walk-off that gave Wellsboro the win.
Maxwell Mascho also had an impressive day at the plate, going 2-3 with a double in the win.
Also with hits in the win were Reed Richardson, Chase Priset and Martin added two doubles and a run scored in the victory.
In their next contest, the Wellsboro team would face a tall task in taking on the Athens team who has yet to drop a game during the summer, and also a team who recently beat them by a score of 12-2 in their last meeting just a week prior.
After a delay to start the game due to a lack of umpires in attendance, Athens came out of the gates swinging as they had their first seven batters reach base in the top of the first as they came up with a slew of hard-hit balls to the outfield that saw their lead grow to 7-0 early.
Wellsboro was able to fight back throughout the night, only being outscored 6-5 for the remainder of the contest, but it wasn’t enough to claw back from the early deficit.
Mascho would finish 2-4 on the day with a run scored, Richardson added a hit and a run scored, Morral finished 1-3 with a triple, Martin added a double, Coen Tennis added a single and Justin Mosher added a single and a run scored in the loss.
The Wellsboro team, despite coming up short in the championship game, put together a resilient summer and had only two losses in bracket play.
Both of those losses came from Athens while they picked up wins against Towanda and the Allegheny Mountain/Elkland team in the winner’s bracket and their impressive win against Sayre in the final round of the consolation bracket.
They also finished with a 1-1 record in pool play, where they lost to the Allegheny Mountain team while topping Tioga Lawrenceville.