Neese, Martino Lead Punxsutawney 9-and-10-Year Olds to Victory over Brookville

Screenshot 2016-06-28 at 10.27.50 PM
BROOKVILLE, Pa. – Jimmy Neese and Coy Martino teamed up to help lead the Punxsutawney Minor League All-Stars to a 16-6, five-inning win over Brookville Tuesday night at Brookville.

Neese was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored at the plate and pitched two solid innings for the Groundhog Little League 9-and-10-year olds, while Martino was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI at the plate and threw three solid innings to pick up the win.

Punxsutawney manager Brian Hallman and Martino talk about the win.

In a game that was see-saw back-and-forth through the first three innings, it was a six-run third inning that set the stage for the Punxsutawney nine to go out in front for good.

Trailing their northern Jefferson County neighbors from the county seat 5-3 going to the bottom of the third – Punxsy was the home team at Brookville after winning the pregame coin flip – the boys in red sent 11 batters to the plate in the third knocking out three hits, drawing three walks and taking advantage of a couple of Brookville error to go on top for good, 9-5.

Back-to-back base hits by Martino and Zach Presloid got the inning off to a good start with Presloid’s double cutting the Brookville lead in half to 5-4. Presloid then tied the game when Maddox Hetrick hit a ball to rightfield that took an unfortunate bounce off the face of rightfielder Eston Belfiore, who had to be removed from the game. Belfiore did run off the field under his own power, which was a good sign, hopefully.

Nathan Kendrick then put Punxsy ahead for good on a grounder to short that was mishandled and Sawyer Hall walked ending the day of Brookville starter Jack Knapp, who took the loss being charged with eight runs, only four of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks while striking out two.

Carter Kessler relieved and it understandably took the youngster a couple of batters to settle in walking a pair and giving up a hit before he was able to retire the final three batters he faced in the inning.

Neese had the hit off Kessler, and it was a big one driving home a pair of runs to give the Groundhog gang the four-run lead.

Brookville fought back in the fourth getting run thanks to back-to-back infield hits from Kellen Haines and Kessler, both of whom showed outstanding hustle in beating out the plays. A wild pitch moved the duo each up a base, and Riley Smith drove in a run with a groundout to make it 9-6.

But Punxsutawney proved to be too much scoring twice more in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single to center by Cooper Stahlman, the No. 9 hitter. The southern Jefferson County nine then ended the game with a five-run fifth that featured just one hit from the game’s last batter, Neese, a run-scoring single to center that put the 10-run Mercy Rule into play.

Brookville came out hot and led 2-0 after a half inning thanks to an RBI single to center by Smith and a Knapp groundout.

Punxsutawney tied the game with two first-inning runs of its own with three straight hits from Neese, Cooper Hallman and Martino plus a Brookville error on Martino’s RBI single scoring the runs.

A great inning-ending double play by Martino, who was at shortstop, ended the second for Brookville and saved at least one run. Belfiore hit a ball that looked like it was heading up the middle with runners at the corners, but Martino cut it off, stepped on second and threw to first to complete the double play.

Brody Stouffer’s RBI groundout in the second then gave Punxsutawney a 3-2 lead, but Knapp did a great job of pitching out of trouble allowing just the one run after the first two Punxsy batters reached.

Brookville, however, answered with three runs in the third to retake the lead.

James Carberry and Kolton Griffin had RBI singles and Knapp a second RBI groundout to score the runs for the boys in blue.

Kessler was 2-for-3 to lead Brookville.

Both teams move on in the tournament.

Punxsutawney faces DuBois, a 11-1, four-inning winner over Brookville, in the winner’s bracket at 4 p.m. Saturday at DuBois.

Brookville drops into the loser’s bracket where it will host St. Marys Thursday.

Punxsutawney 16, Brookville 6, 5 innings
at Brookville

Score by Innings

Brookville 203 10 – 6
Punxsy 216 25 – 16

Brookville 6

Player, Pos, AB, Runs, Hits, RBIs
Carter Kessler ss/p 3220, Kolton Griffin 2b 3211, Riley Smith 3b/p/lf 3012, Jack Knapp p/3b 3002, Gage Kiehl c 2100, Cole Householder lf/p 1000, Owen Fleming ph 1000, Charlie Krug 1b 1000, James Carberry ph 1011, Jack Pete cf 3000, Easton Belfiore rf 1000, Kellen Haines rf 1110. Totals 23-6-6-6.

Punxsutawney 16

Player, Pos, AB, Runs, Hits, RBIs
Brody Stouffer cf 3002, Jimmy Neese p/ss 4143, Cooper Hallman 2b 3210, Coy Martino ss/p 4221, Zach Presloid lf 3111, Noah Weaver rf 2101, Maddox Hetrick rf 2100, Parker Stahlman 1b 1210, Nathan Kendrick 1b 2201, Sawyer Hall c 2200, Cooper Stahlman 3b 2212. Totals 28-16-10-11.

LOB – Brookville 5. Punxsutawney 8. Errors – Brookville 7. Punxsutawney 3. 2B – Presloid. SAC – Stouffer. SF – Weaver. SB – Kiehl, Carberry, Neese, Weaver, Hall (2). DP – Punxsutawney 2.



Jack Knapp – 2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Carter Kessler – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Riley Smith – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HB
Cole Householder – 0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER,0 BB, 0 K
Totals – 4.2 IP – 10 H, 16 R, 6 ER, 6 BB, 4 K, 1 HB
Householder faced two batters in the fifth

Jimmy Neese – 2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Coy Martino – 3 IP, 4 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HB
Totals 5 IP, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HB

Winning pitcher – Coy Martino
Losing pitcher – Jack Knapp

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