It was a historic day for the Twin Valley American Legion baseball team. With a 5-3 win over Boyertown in the championship game the Raiders captured the programís first Region 2 Tournament championship on July 24 at Bear Stadium in Boyertown.
When Boyertown defeated Pottstown earlier in the day, it set up the title game between Boyertown and Twin Valley. It also assured Twin Valley a spot in the upcoming Pennsylvania State Tournament to be held in Boyertown beginning Tuesday, July 30. Since the Bears already qualified as the host team, Twin Valley would represent Region 2 win or lose.
As it turned out, it was a win. With the game tied at 1-1, Twin Valley scored three times in the fourth and one more in the fifth to break things open. The strong pitching of Tyler Sternat kept the Bears from making any kind of comeback.
A double by Izzack Albright got the fourth inning started for the Raiders. Matt McInaw singled Albright to third which was followed by a three-run homer by Travis Royer, putting the Raiders ahead for good.
Sternat earned the mound win, allowing three runs on 11 hits in 7 1/3 innings. McInaw picked up the save hurling 1 1/3 of no-hit, shutout ball.
The Raiders began the tournament with a 9-6 victory over Easton on July 20. The game went to the 11th inning when Sternat ripped a bases loaded double that brought all three runs in. It was the difference-making hit for the Raiders, who found themselves in the winnersí bracket where they battled Oley/Topton, the champions of the Schuylkill/Berks League.
This one was a little easier for the Raiders as they breezed to a 10-0 victory. McInaw pitched an eight inning complete game shutout for Twin Valley, allowing just five hits and one walk while fanning four.
The Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, and then broke it open with four runs in the fourth, and two more in the sixth. Their two runs in the eighth ended the game due to the mercy rule.
The Twin Valley offense was led by leadoff hitter Jon Abbadusky, who had three hits, three runs scored and one RBI. Albright also had three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Rain gave Twin Valley a rest before the winnersí bracket final against Boyertown, and it apparently helped. Behind the solid pitching of Ryan, Twin Valley pulled out a 2-1 victory.
That assured the Raiders a spot in the championship game, and eventually (despite a 3-1 loss to Pottstown later in the day), a spot in the state tournament.
Twin Valley will open its first state tournament with a game against the Region 5 champions from Greater Pittston on Tuesday, July 30, at Bear Stadium. The winner of the tournament will advance on to the Mid-Atlantic national regional tournament in Brooklawn, New Jersey beginning August 9.
The winner of that tournament will head to the American Legion World Series held in Shelby, North Carolina beginning August 16.