PA Gators take big Wooden Bat championship
The PA Gators travel baseball team capped its 2015 season on a very high note recently by capturing the Louisville Slugger Wood Bat World Series in Pittsburgh.
The PA Gators was founded in 2013 by the late Chuck Atherton, father of Hunter Atherton. The team consists of players from Greencastle, Waynesboro, Clear Spring and Chambersburg with two successful years of competition under their belts.
The team competed in 2015 as a 13U team at tournaments in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.
The championship game of the season-ending Pittsburgh event July 24 to 26 came down to the wire with the Gators breaking a tie in an extra inning for the 8-5 win over the Oakland Grizzlies and the title over 17 other teams. With the score knotted at 3-3 on runs by Brady Bakner, Ethan Lowman and Zach Cole, the Gators rallied big in the seventh for the win. Aaron Lutz, Trenton Shaffer, Brady Sperry, Adam Root and Reed Scadden all scored runs in the frame.
The Gators started the tourney with a 13-0 shutout of the Leaside Leafs. Skylar Testerman pitched four of the innings with eight strikeouts and allowed only two hits in the gem. He helped his cause with four RBIs.
The local team dropped its second game, 5-1, to the Shield. Root held the opponent hitless over three innings, allowed no earned runs, walked one and struck out four while on the mound. Lowman scored the only run in the game for the Gators.
On the second day of the tournament, the Gators picked up two wins, bouncing the Bulletproof Bulldogs 7-2 and Impact, 5-4. Against the Bulldogs, Aaron Lutz slugged three hits, including a double. Shaffer pitched hitless ball over three innings, allowed no earned runs and struck out three. Sam Ellmore provided relief, allowing just two runs over four frames. Daquan Rogers delivered the offensive power with a two-run homer in the game. Sperry added a double.
Impact tested the Gators, who took the last bite in the one-run game. Ellmore and Testerman held down the pitching duties. Ellmore was also in on the offense, scoring a run with a steal of home. Root added an RBI-single.
The Gators won a pair of games Sunday to climb into the championship contest. The team bounced Team All American Lane 3-1 behind five innings of one-run pitching from Shaffer.
Lowman had the big stick, delivering a three-run dinger to secure the win. The local team then got by Steel City Select 2-1 with Lowman and Lutz scoring the key runs in the second inning.
As part of the championship trip the Gators were treated to a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park. The team members had the honor of going onto the field before the game began.
The head coach is Keith Cole, with assistants Ray Scadden, Larry Bakner and Justin Testerman.
The team wishes to thank the coaches, parents and families for a great 2015 Gator season.