Wilcox splits games as Region 8 Tournament opens up

MEADVILLE – The Wilcox American Legion baseball team will continue play in the Region 8 Tournament after a 10-2 victory over Meridian Sunday afternoon on a hot day at the Meadville Area Recreational Complex. Wilcox will play Meadville in the loser's bracket at 10 a.m. this morning. After a scoreless first inning, Wilcox put a pair of runs together. Joe Holmberg walked to lead off the inning and Ben MacDonald also walked with one out. After a strikeout, Frank Kocjancic singled to score Holmberg for the game's first run. MacDonald later came around on a wild pitch to double the Wilcox lead to 2-0. Meridian halved the lead in the bottom of the second with a 2-out rally. Jake Koerner singled and went to second on a passed ball. Koerner scored on a single from Nolan Lewis. Wilcox added a run in the fourth inning as Holmberg doubled and scored on a Josh Mitchell double. Holmberg led off the sixth inning with a single and Mitchell following with a single. A dropped third strike on a strikeout allowed Holmberg to reach third and Mitchell later stole second base. Quinn Luhr successfully executed a squeeze play with Holmberg dashing toward the plate and Luhr putting the bunt down to give Wilcox a 4-1 lead. Wilcox blew the game open in the seventh inning to take control of the game. Zac Luhr led off with a walk and Cole Peterson singled, moving Luhr to third. Cameron Grumley ran Wilcox's second squeeze play of the game as Luhr scored on the bunt to make the lead 5-1. Mitchell Holmberg singled to score Cole Peterson and Joe Holmberg singled to score Mitchell Holmberg. Mitchell then hit a line drive home run to left center field to plate Joe Holmberg and up the lead to 9-1, completing the 5-run inning. Mitchell added to his RBI total with a single in the eighth to score Grumley. Grumley started the inning by being hit with a pitch to make the lead 10-1. Ben Berresford reached on a single and 2-base error for Meridian and scored on a groundout for Meridian's second run of the game. The Wilcox fourth- and fifth-place hitters in the batting order frequently were rounding the basepaths. Cleanup hitter Joe Holmberg was 3-for-4 with a walk and scored four runs, also contributing a double, one RBI and a stolen base. Mitchell, hitting fifth in the order, was 4-for-5 with a double, home run, one stolen base, one run scored with four RBI to boot. "I thought we even started out slow again and then we finally got it going," Wilcox coach Jeff Peterson said. "Cole was hitting the ball well and hard all weekend. Josh had a hard shot there and Joe Holmberg started coming around and getting his stroke back which he didn't have the first game." Mitchell also pitched three innings in the middle of the game, allowing just one hit. Cole Peterson started for Wilcox and pitched the first four innings, allowing a run on three hits. Quinn Luhr finished the game with two scoreless innings on the mound."The pitching was good," coach Peterson said. "Cole came in and threw his four, then Josh threw three and then Quinn threw two which worked out real well. Josh can be good to go, him and Cole [Monday]. It's going to a real competitive game. All these teams are pretty tough. Overall, it's a great experience for these kids because they're all young. It's a whole new level of ball for him which is good. It's only going to help them in high school and everything else." In the opening game Saturday, Wilcox lost 14-1 in seven innings (Region 8 Tournament games are 9-inning regulation games) to Albion in the opening game Saturday."It's nice to come back and beat someone, it's nice to get a win," coach Peterson said. "I don't think we even played close to our potential the first game. I don't know what it was, but that was the worst game I've seen us play, that first game up here. The kids were just flat and didn't have that intensity that we had against St. Marys. I would like another shot at that team again."Results from the weekend are as follows: SaturdayGame 1 - Meadville 6, Corry 5Game 2 - Albion 14, Wilcox 1Game 3 - Millcreek 13, Center Twp. 2Game 4 - French Creek Valley 14, Meridian 3SundayGame 5 - Corry 3, Center Twp. 2, Center Twp. eliminatedGame 6 - Wilcox 10, Meridian 2, Meridian eliminatedGame 7 - Millcreek 9, Meadville 1Game 8 - French Creek Valley 10, Albion 3Monday’s gamesGame 9 - Wilcox vs. Meadville, 10 a.m.Game 10 - Corry vs. Albion, 1 p.m.Game 11 - Millcreek vs. French Creek Valley, 4 p.m.Individual statistics:Wilcox AB R H BICole Peterson 6 1 2 0Cameron Grumley 4 1 0 1Mitchell Holmberg 5 1 1 1Joe Holmberg 4 4 3 1Josh Mitchell 5 1 4 4Ben MacDonald 2 1 0 0Quinn Luhr 4 0 0 1Frank Kocjancic 5 0 0 1Louie Imbrogno 1 0 0 0Zac Luhr 2 1 1 0Kyle Sheldon 0 0 0 0Totals 38 10 11 92B: J. Holmberg, Mitchell. HR: MItchell. HBP: Grumley. SB: Peterson, J. Holmberg, Mitchell. Meridian AB R H BIBen Berresford 4 1 1 0Bobby Swartwart 2 0 0 1Grant Foley 1 0 0 0Alex Scialabba 4 0 1 0Nick Legacy 4 0 0 0Matt Dowdy 4 0 0 0Jory Friel 2 0 0 0Jake Koerner 2 1 1 0Nolan Lewis 3 0 1 1Tyler Friel 1 0 0 0Jonathan Albright 1 0 0 0Zach Pilarcik 3 0 1 0Totals 31 2 5 2 R H EWilcox 020 101 510 - 10 11 1Meridian 010 000 010 - 2 4 0Wilcox IP H R BB KPeterson 4 3 1 0 1Mitchell 3 1 0 1 2Q. Luhr 2 1 1 0 1Meridian IP H R BB KKoerner 5.1 8 7 0 4Albright 1.1 2 2 3 0Friel 2.1 1 2 0 0