Lehigh Little League falls in state tourney
Lehigh Little League’s 11-year-old all-star team competed in the Pennsylvania State Baseball Tournament this past weekend at Lehigh after climbing from the losers’ brackets in districts and sectionals to win both.
“We were excited. Half of the team played last year, and half of the team was new to states,” said Lehigh manager Mike Ondria. “The ride to states was very emotional, especially with the route we took, coming through the losers’ brackets. Six trips to Richboro for six days straight [for sectionals] creates those lasting memories.”
Lehigh played in the first game of the state tournament on Friday, losing to Clarion 14-1.
Lehigh scored its run after Luke Appleman reached first base on an error, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Rivera.
Paul Erfle and Jack Evans had base hits in the game against Clarion, and Erfle threw a Clarion runner out at home in the third inning. Anthony Arnone made a sliding catch in center field two plays earlier.
Lehigh’s second game in the double elimination tournament resulted in a 12-2 loss to Keystone on Saturday.
Lehigh scored its first run after Evans hit a double and scored on Appleman’s base hit to left field. Rivera had a solo home run in the next inning for Lehigh’s second run.
“It’s tough [that it’s over], but to play in states at home, not many have that opportunity. We wanted people to be proud, and I’ll be here for the rest of the tournament to volunteer and to route on the teams that will advance,” Ondria said.
In addition to Lehigh, Clarion, and Keystone, the other teams competing in states are Ridley Area, Back Mountain National, Bellefonte, Norwin, and West Side.
“We were lucky enough to pull those games out [in districts and sectionals] to be one of eight teams in the state,” said Ondria. “I wish the outcome was a little better, but it was a dream come true for any coach, and hopefully, for the players.”
Lehigh’s team included players Luke Appleman, Andrew Lessig, Trey Ondria, Gatlin Giering, Zander Lynn, Paul Erfle, Bryant Sedlock, Nick Zumas, Jack Evans, Miguel Diaz-Rivera, Anthony Arnone, Ezra Figueroa, Jacob Rivera, and assistant coaches RJ Giering, Chris Zumas, and Miguel Diaz.
“They probably don’t fully understand [how much this meant], but when they get older, it will be huge,” Ondria said.