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Morrison’s arm keeps Amherst unbeaten in Mickey Mantle tournament

  • Nolan Muzyka, center, of Frontier, evades a tag from Zack Kelley of Amherst during a rundown between second and third Thursday in Amherst. Assisting are Brett Morrison, left, and Jake Balderson. Seconds later, he was tagged out by Selah Dalomba.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Nolan Muzyka, center, of Frontier, evades a tag from Zack Kelley of Amherst during a rundown between second and third Thursday in Amherst. Assisting are Brett Morrison, left, and Jake Balderson. Seconds later, he was tagged out by Selah Dalomba.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brett Morrison pitches to Frontier Thursday in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS

    Brett Morrison pitches to Frontier Thursday in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brett Morrison, top, of Amherst, steals third as Cody Cleveland of Frontier fields the throw Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Brett Morrison, top, of Amherst, steals third as Cody Cleveland of Frontier fields the throw Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brett Morrison, right, of Amherst, catches a fly ball from Christian Smiarowski, left, Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Brett Morrison, right, of Amherst, catches a fly ball from Christian Smiarowski, left, Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cody Cleveland, right, of Frontier, steals home on an error as Amherst pitcher Brett Morrison waits for the throw Thursday in Amherst. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Cody Cleveland, right, of Frontier, steals home on an error as Amherst pitcher Brett Morrison waits for the throw Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jordan York-Welcome of Frontier pitches to Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Jordan York-Welcome of Frontier pitches to Amherst Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Alex Curran of Frontier logs a strike on a high pitch from Amherst pitcher Brett Morrison Thursday in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS

    Alex Curran of Frontier logs a strike on a high pitch from Amherst pitcher Brett Morrison Thursday in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Chewy Garand of Amherst hits a single against Frontier Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Chewy Garand of Amherst hits a single against Frontier Thursday in Amherst.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Nolan Muzyka, center, of Frontier, evades a tag from Zack Kelley of Amherst during a rundown between second and third Thursday in Amherst. Assisting are Brett Morrison, left, and Jake Balderson. Seconds later, he was tagged out by Selah Dalomba.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Brett Morrison pitches to Frontier Thursday in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Brett Morrison, top, of Amherst, steals third as Cody Cleveland of Frontier fields the throw Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Brett Morrison, right, of Amherst, catches a fly ball from Christian Smiarowski, left, Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Cody Cleveland, right, of Frontier, steals home on an error as Amherst pitcher Brett Morrison waits for the throw Thursday in Amherst. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Jordan York-Welcome of Frontier pitches to Amherst Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Alex Curran of Frontier logs a strike on a high pitch from Amherst pitcher Brett Morrison Thursday in Amherst.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Chewy Garand of Amherst hits a single against Frontier Thursday in Amherst.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

Amherst didn’t have a hit until the sixth inning of Thursday’s 3-2 win over Frontier. In two playoff wins, Amherst has managed only four runs on four hits over both games. Despite the lack of offense, Amherst coach Mike Bohl was optimistic about his teams chances.

“Baseball is a streaky game, and hits come in bunches,” he said. “Hopefully this drought will end soon. I have faith in my guys.”

Amherst won’t need hits if it keeps getting stellar pitching. After Brendan Ziomek’s dominance Wednesday, Brett Morrison delivered a strong outing Thursday.

The Amherst pitcher was in control for six innings. He struck out eight and allowed no earned runs on just two hits.

Morrison started off shaky in the first inning, hitting the second batter he faced, but settled down and got a strikeout to end the inning. He struck out all three in the second, and then got two more to begin the third. Morrison allowed three baserunners all game, and only walked one batter.

“My team just backed me up,” Morrison said. “I threw strikes and let them do the work. I tried to get ground balls and keep the walks down.”

“Brett pitched very well today,” Amherst coach Mike Bohl said. “His pitch count was very low. He was very efficient. He was around the strike zone all day, and he did exactly what we wanted him to do.”

Amherst got two runs in the bottom of the first. Daniel Hodgkins and Django Ellenhorn both walked, and Morrison was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Jamie Carey hit a sacrifice fly to deep left to score Hodgkins from third, and Selah Dalomba picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice.

Even though Amherst tacked on two runs early, Frontier pitcher Jordan York-Welcome had a no hitter going into the sixth inning. With two outs, Chewy Garand got the first and only hit for Amherst.

“The biggest thing for (York-Welcome) was that he kept with it,” Frontier coach Drew Powers said. “He had those walks in the first inning which resulted in their runs, but he just stayed with it and never gave up.”

York-Welcome allowed three walks and struck out three.

Frontier scored their first run in the sixth inning. With one out, Cody Cleveland drew a walk. Morrison struck out Alex Curran before Joe Yusko hit a line drive single to left field. Cleveland reached third and after a throwing error by Amherst left-fielder Garand, ended up coming in to score.

In the seventh, Matt Ackerman got a base hit off of Amherst reliever Dalomba, and advanced to second, third, and then first, all on pass balls.

The loss was Frontier’s second of the day. Before arriving in Amherst, it had to complete Wednesday’s game with Mohawk, that was stopped because of darkness.

Frontier ends its season at 9-9. Despite a disappointing day, Powers still had plenty of positive things to say about his team.

“The team chemistry was great, and the kids were fantastic this year,” he said. “For what we went through, trying to make sure we had nine players for every game, I think the kids did fantastic, and they were a pleasure to coach.”

Joe Yusko doubled home a pair of runs for Frontier Wednesday against Mohawk. Nolan Muzyka (double), Evan Bourque (single) and Connor Zabko all scored once apiece.

Amherst (16-3) will play rival Northampton on Friday at 7 p.m. at Ziomek Field, a matchup of two teams who haven’t lost in the double-elimination event. Bohl believed the high level of competition is just what his team is looking for.

“These are the games they seem to get up for,” he said. “They seem to like to play the teams with the good records. We have a big challenge the rest of the way, but I know my guys are going to be ready.”

Amherst 3, Frontier 2

Frontier 000 001 1—2 3 1

Amherst 200 100 X—3 1 1

WP - Morrison; LP - York-Welcome; S - Dalomba

Records: Frontier (9-9) Amherst (16-3)

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