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NTL BASEBALL: NEB COMES UP JUST SHORT IN D4 TITLE GAME (2024-05-24)

Northern Tier Sports Report
WILLIAMSPORT — Nail-biters don’t get much closer than the District IV, Class A title game did on Friday. NEB was down 4-3 with bases loaded but Millville got the ender to take the 1-run win and district championship.

“I told the kids, I was proud of them,” said NEB coach Brian Salsman. “We could have rolled over and died with two outs in the seventh, nobody on, down two runs, but some great at bats there those last three, four guys, and we just came up a little bit short.”


NEB jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first but saw the Quakers push three across in the second. Millville added another run in the third for the 2-run lead.


The score stayed like that until the top of the seventh when NEB drew four straight walks to make it a 1-run game, but couldn’t get the tying run across.


Clay Wiggins got the start, but went two innings to take the loss. He struck out four with six walks, one hit, and four runs, three of them earned.


“Clay’s ball moves a lot, and when he gets zoned in he’s tremendously tough to hit, and he’s been that way for three years here now,” said Salsman. “But a couple walks, and that’s the way things happen.”


Kohen Hugo came on for the final four, striking out four with no walks, no runs, and one hit.


“Kohen’s been great all year,” Salsman said. “We had an inning or two from him, at most, in the beginning of the year, toward the end of the year he had a couple complete games, came right in here and shut those guys down.”


Cayden McPherson (1-for-2) had a double with 2-RBI as Wiggins (1-for-3), Andrew Beers (1-for-2), and Josh Stanton each scored a run. Dillon Donnelly knocked in a run, as well.


In the top of the first Stanton reached on a 1-out error, followed by Wiggins hitting a single. After a second out McPherson got the big hit, doubling to right field to drive in Stanton and Wiggins for the 2-0 lead.


Millville loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning but NEB’s defense held with two straight outs.


In the bottom of the second, though, Millville used two hit batsmen and three walks to score all three runs with two outs to take a 1-run lead.


In the third the Quakers used a squeeze to add another run.


In the top of the seventh, with two outs, Beers, Gavin Puza, and Eli Stanton drew three straight walks to load the bases.


Donnelly then drew a 4-pitch walk to bring in Beers. Millville then changed pitchers, to got the game ending strikeout for the win.


NEB reached their second straight district title game in 2024, and finished the year 11-9.


“I’ve had this group of seniors here as this is my third year coaching,” Salsman said. “Four of those six (seniors) have been with me all three years, and they’ve had some enjoyable moments together here last year, of course winning the district title - that was a tremendous honor and tremendous achievement for us. We seriously, in all honesty, expected to be back here again, it didn’t work out today but hats off to Millville. Millville took advantage of the walks and a couple mistakes that were made.”


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PHOTOS BY BRETT CROSSLY & FAY BRINK



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