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Backyard Brawl Predictions
May 14, 2011 - Chris Masse
Well, my first prediction is that the Brawl does not completed. Weather forecasters keep saying passing showers, which with their accuracy reputation, leads me to believe steady rains will break out later and wipe out this tournament. Now, that I got my shot in at weather forecasters, on with my predictions if this tournament does get completed.
Game 1 Williamsport over South Williamsport The Millionaires are playing better than anyone entering the district entering this game and are set up perfectly with aces Kyle Schneider and Jared Fagnano both available to pitch seven innings today. Williamsport thumped perennial power Bald Eagle Area the other day and looks like a team that could do damage in the postseason. South could do the same at the Class AA level but it faces a gut-check today since it has to play without lead-off hitter and third baseman Caleb Catherine. Catherine was ejected in Wednesday's loss at Montgomery. For the record, I do not think Catherine should have been ejected. I didn't see anything malicious in what he did and he's not the type of person who would try to do something like that. I think he should have been given a warning for not sliding and that would have been enough. Catherine is hitting over .500 this season and his absence leaves a big void in the lineup. Still, South has been hitting well and you can never count out one of Shawn Finn's teams because he will never let them give up. Still, I think Wiliamsport has too much in this game.
Game 2 Montoursville over Loyalsock Both teams are having outstanding seasons, going a combined 25-5. Montoursville is the HAC-I champion and Loyalsock has clinched at least a share of its third straight HAC-II title. Both teams have made comebacks a staple and both are hitting well up and down the lineup. This could be the game of the day and could be something that is repeated in next week's Giles Tournament and in districts. I'll take Montoursville by one run, much like last year against Loyalsock in the Brawl championship. Gotta hand it to Loyalsock coach Jeremy Eck, though. With only two starters back from last year's state semifinalist and barely any pitchers who had thrown at the varsity level, I thought Loyalsock might struggle to make the playoffs. Here they are 12-3, though. Interesting matchup between Eck and his former coach Corey Twigg as well. Montoursville has defeated Loyalsock in each of the last two Brawls.
Game 3 Loyalsock over South Another potential playoff preview, I think this game will be high-scoring and close. These rivals have not met since the 2009 Brawl when South blanked Loyalsock, 7-0.
Championship Williamsport over Montoursville In a repeat of the 2009 final, the Millionaires take their second title in three years. Williamsport looks like it has the deepest pitching and lineup. Montoursville will hang tough but I think the Millionaires take the crown, 6-3.
For the record, I am 6-2 in Brawl predictions the last two seasons. I successfully picked Williamsport to defeat Montoursville two years ago, but fell short last year when Montoursville defeated Loyalsock in the final. I had it the other way around.
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