Hermitage Little League teams advance to state tournament

·3 min read

Jul. 23—The Hermitage 10U and 12U Little League teams pulled off a remarkable achievement on Friday night as both squads captured Section 2 championships to advance to the state tournament.

10U

— Hermitage 9, West Point 2 — At Latrobe, Hermitage defeated West Point for the second straight night to advance to states.

Ian Staples pitched five innings and only gave up the two runs and Troy Martin closed it out. He allowed one hit.

Offensively, Will Geisel had three singles, Carter Hicks doubled and hit a pair of singles, Staples doubled and singled, Martin ripped a double, and Jordan Bochert singled.

Hermitage dropped its section opener to West Point, 23-4, on Monday and rebounded to beat them twice in the championship series.

"We went in knowing we were the better team," said Hermitage coach Mike Bochert. "We knew that Monday's game was a fluke. We kept challenging them and telling them to be tough.

"I don't know if people know how difficult it is to do what our team did. They lost their district opener and then won six in a row and then we lost the section opener and won three games in a row.

"I'm so happy for our league and so happy for the kids and community. And shout-out to 12U coach Geoff Evans and his team for winning. I don't know when the last time was that we had two teams advance to states in Little League.

"Hopefully the city of Hermitage and the community is proud of the two teams. I know some stayed home and doubted my team after Monday's loss, but the kids came through."

Bochert relayed that the team will open the state tournament with a 7 p.m. game in Greensburg on Tuesday.

12U

— Hermitage 4, Mt. Pleasant 2 — At Bullskin Twp., Dante Evans fired a complete-game two-hitter as Hermitage closed out the section tourney with a perfect 3-0 record to grab the title.

Evans gave up one earned run. Mt. Pleasant scored on a sacrifice bunt in the top of the first inning and the other run came home on an error.

Hermitage scored all four of its runs in the bottom half of the first and held off Mt. Pleasant the rest of the way.

In that first frame, Nolan Golub singled and Evans doubled to score Golub. Lincoln Breit then ripped an RBI single to plate Evans. Matthew Reese then stepped into the batters box and belted a two-run homer over the right-center field fence to give Hermitage a 4-1 lead.

Hermitage beat Latrobe, 8-0, in its opener Tuesday, defeated Mt. Pleasant, 8-3, on Wednesday, and grabbed the win on Friday.

"I'm really proud of this group, said Hermitage coach Geoff Evans. "They've put in a lot of hard work and it has paid off. We had timely hitting in the first inning and were able to field the ball really well behind Dante. I'm really proud of the effort from these 11 players."

It was Geoff Evans' third section title as a coach. He's 9-0 in section play over the past three years.

Hermitage plays Section 4 champ Hollidaysburg at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the state tournament in Bradford.