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Benjamin Phillips was on the field throughout most of the tournament and contributed a pair of hits as the Pocono Region team captured a silver medal in Junior Division baseball during last week's Keystone States Games in the York area.
Phillips, who will be a sophomore at Elk Lake, played three full games and played five innings in each of the other two games. He started one game at catcher and spent the rest of his time in right field.
Pocono beat Metro, 3-1; Blue Mountain, 4-3; and Allegheny, 8-4, in Tuesday and Wednesday's games to clinch a spot in the final. Delaware Valley downed Pocono, 5-3, in the last game of pool play Thursday morning, but Pocono's 3-1 record matched Blue Mountain for first place in the pool and Pocono had the tiebreaker for the head-to-head win.
Phillips singled and scored in the loss to Delaware Valley.
Laurel Highlands went 3-1 in its pool and advanced to the championship game on a tiebreaker advantage over Capital. Laurel Highlands then edged Pocono, 5-4, in the championship game.
The Junior Division is for players entering their freshman or sophomore seasons in high school.
In girls' basketball, Susquehanna's Hannah Price was part of the Pocono team that struggled while finishing last in the eight-team field in the Junior Division.
Pocono lost to Lehigh Valley, 74-39; Capital, 80-45; and Blue Mountain, 62-41 in pool play. Delaware Valley defeated Pocono, 79-58, Saturday in the game to determine seventh place.
Price scored 12 points in the loss to Delaware Valley.
In masters swimming, Marsha Kime of New Milford won two races by more than 10 seconds in the 70-74-year-old division. She finished second in the 50 backstroke and won the 50 freestyle and 50 breaststroke in convincing fashion.
Charles Kime won three events uncontested in the 70-74-year-old division and took a silver medal in a fourth event. He won the 500 free, 200 free and 50 breaststroke while taking second in the 100 freestyle.
WEEK IN REVIEW
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons won six straight overall and nine straight at home to move into the International League East Division lead.
The Red Barons took over first place Friday when they completed a four-game sweep of the Richmond Braves.
Ottawa then came to Lackawanna County Stadium with a five-game winning streak and victories in 14 of its last 19 games to move to within 4 1/2 games of the East Division lead.
The Red Barons shut out the third-place Lynx in back-to-back games, 5-0 and 2-0, Saturday and Sunday.
Gavin Floyd allowed just five hits in eight innings Saturday.
The Red Barons then had to get through Sunday's game without scheduled starting pitcher Scott Mathieson.
Mathieson has won all three career Class AAA starts, but with the parent Phillies contemplating overhauling their roster, Mathieson had to be held out in case he was needed in Philadelphia.
In Mathieson's absence the Red Barons turned to their deep bullpen to produce the team's 10th shutout of the season.
Jim Crowell moved out of the bullpen for the spot start and combined with three relievers on a two-hitter.
Crowell, who pitched five hitless innings in a start under similar circumstances earlier this year, found out that he would be starting about two hours before game time. The veteran left-hander went out and threw four hitless innings.
"When you're put in a situation making a spot start, you just want to keep the team in the game and see what happens," Crowell said. "We're playing good ball right now."
After Crowell, who has a 2.73 earned run average in six starts, the Red Barons were able to turn to three pitchers who each have ERAs of 3.06 or better out of the bullpen.
Seung Hak Lee gave up just an infield single in his two innings. Matt White pitched a perfect seventh inning. Brian Sanches earned his 17th save by finishing with two scoreless innings.
Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for all the scoring in the game.
Montrose graduate Rich Thompson could end up with another trip home if the Red Barons make the playoffs.
Thompson has helped the Indianapolis Indians to the West Division lead. Thompson ranks fourth in the league with six triples.
In 79 games with Indianapolis, Thompson is hitting .280 with 43 runs scored and 16 stolen bases.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Susquehanna tackle Robert Reddon will play for the City team Wednesday night in the Dream Game. The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Dennis Moore of Montrose had also been selected to play for the City against the County in the annual football all-star game, but Moore left the team.
Al "Butch" Keller of Bishop O'Hara will coach the City against the County team, which will be led by Carbondale's John Lasavage.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
EDWARDS Gets St. Louis Busch Win, Madison, IL – Carl Edwards passed Denny Hamlin with eight laps to go to win Saturday night’s Busch Silver Celebration 250 presented by Shop’n Save at Gateway International Raceway.
Edwards, from nearby Columbia, Mo., had been running second to Hamlin for most of the race, but took advantage of good pit strategy to pull off the victory.
Carl Edwards celebrates his Saturday Busch win at St. Louis.
As the teams filed down pit road for the final green flag pit stops with under 20 laps remaining, the No. 60 team of Edwards decided to change right side tires only, in addition to fuel. When Hamlin came in a few laps later, his team decided to take their chances with their tires and went with fuel only. Edwards’ tires were the difference in the race as he easily passed Hamlin and coasted to victory in front of friends and family.
“I thought we lost the race there when I screwed up getting on pit road and wheel-hopped the rear tires real bad,” said Edwards. “That's just unbelievable that we took two tires and they didn't. It worked out great.
“It was just so tough to pass, and Denny was real slow in the center of the corner down there in one and two. I bumped him that one time and got by him, but I knew once I couldn't get away from him, that was the wrong thing to do because he was going to be right back there. I was like, 'Please, Denny, just don't wreck me.' I maybe deserved it a little bit, but he did a great job. I had a blast racing with him, and I hope he had as much fun as I had.”
The victory gives Edwards’ title chances a slight boost as he was able to shave 35 points off Kevin Harvick’s series lead. More significant is the fact that five drivers have won the championship after winning the race at Gateway. Edwards is currently second in the point standings, 318 behind Harvick.
Clint Bowyer, who spent most of the race in the top-five, passed Hamlin on the last lap to finish second. He is third in the point standings, 387 behind Harvick. Hamlin led 169 laps in the race but had to settle for a third-place finish. He remains fourth in the standings, 430 out of first.
Top-10 Busch leaders: 1. Harvick-3437, 2. Edwards-3119, 3. Bowyer-3050, 4. Hamlin-3007, 5. Yeley-2826, 6. Menard-2563, 7. Kyle Busch-2556, 8. Biffle-2510, 9. Sauter-2484, 10. Kenny Wallace-2402.
RACE TO THE CHASE: Battle For 10th Place – There were shakeups throughout the Nextel Cup Top-10 following the Pocono race with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. taking the biggest tumble. He dropped from seventh to 11th place following his second consecutive 43rd-place finish.
However, reigning Cup champion Tony Stewart bounced back into the top-10, from 11th to 10th, following an eventful seventh-place finish at Pocono.
Beginning with the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on August 6, six races remain in the “Race To The Chase,” a 10-race stretch, which started July 1 at Daytona and ends September 9 at Richmond. After Richmond, the top-10 drivers in the points and anyone else within 400 points of the leader will quality for the Chase.
The pressure is on, starting with Earnhardt. He’ll go into Indy trailing Stewart by 15 points.
Greg Biffle fell two spots in the standings to 12th following a 24th-place finish at Pocono. He trails Stewart by 44 points.
Kurt Busch, the 2004 series champion, remained 13th following his second runner-up finish this season at Pocono – and his second consecutive runner-up finish in the last two events. He trails Stewart by 166 points.
Carl Edwards dropped one spot following a 39th-place finish at Pocono. He trails Stewart by 235 points.
Casey Mears remained 15th following a 23rd-place finish at Pocono. He is 292 points back of Stewart.
Following Pocono, five new faces appeared in the Top-10 compared to this point a year ago. They are Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. A year ago Burton was 18th, Harvick was 13th, Kahne was 21st and Busch was 20th. Hamlin was racing fulltime in the NASCAR Busch Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Top-10 Chase Contenders: 1. Johnson-2939, 2. Kenseth-2842, 3. Burton-2621, 4. Kyle Busch-2582, 5. Harvick-2563, 6. Martin-2557, 7. Kahne-2515, 8. Hamlin-2514, 9. J. Gordon-2512, 10. Stewart-2477.
The six events remaining in the Race To The Chase are a varied lot, Indianapolis, the road course at Watkins Glen International, two-mile ovals at Michigan International Speedway and California Speedway, the high-banked half-mile at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond’s three-quarter-mile confines.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway was constructed in 1909, with a 2.5-mile oval circuit. The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race has taken place annually on the oval track since 1911, except during America’s participation in world wars in 1917-18 and 1942-45. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard has taken place annually since 1994, and the United States Grand Prix has taken place annually on the Speedway’s 2.605-mile road course since 2000.
Casey Mears, holds the NASCAR qualifying record of 186.293 mph.
Indiana native Tony Stewart finally lived a dream he has coveted since childhood: Winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by taking the checkered flag in the 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on August 7. Stewart, who was born and grew up in Columbus, IN – less than an hour from the legendary 2.5-mile IMS oval, led 44 laps of the 160-lap race, which was highlighted by a nail-biting duel between Stewart and Kasey Kahne toward the end of the race.
Stewart’s 2005 win made him the first Indiana-born driver to win a Nextel Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the first Indiana-born driver to win at the Speedway since Shelbyville, IN, native Wilbur Shaw won the 1940 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.
The Craftsman Trucks and Busch Series will race on the .0686-mile track at Clermont, Indiana, while the Nextel Cup teams are at nearby Indianapolis.
Friday, August 4, Craftsman Trucks Power Stroke Diesel 200, race 15 of 25, 200 laps, 8:30 p.m.; TV: Speed Channel.
Saturday, August 5, Busch Series Kroger 200, race 23 of 35, 200 laps, 9 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, August 6, Allstate 400, race 21 of 36, 160 laps, 2 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: Who won the first Brickyard 400?
Last Week’s Question: What is the home state of Craftsman Series Truck driver Johnny Benson? Answer. Michigan.
You may read additional racing stories at www.race500.com.
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