It has been more than a generation since a team from Northeastern Pennsylvania claimed the State Legion crown, but that streak hasn’t been without its share of deep runs in the tournament by Region Five teams. Most recently, Plymouth’s run to the tournament’s final day in 2007 comes to mind, with the Indians just falling short of one of the state’s two National Regional berths.
Last year’s regional tournament was conducted at two sites, with all but two games played at Scranton’s Connell Park. The first day of the tournament began with a clash between the aforementioned Plymouth Indians and District 15 representative Delaware Valley. Plymouth won the opener in a rout 16-2. The day’s second game pitted 2008 Regional Champ Abington against Wyoming Valley League Champion Mountain Post. Abington beat Mountain Post 14-2 to advance to the winner’s bracket. The opening day’s second pair of games began with a 7-1 Selinsgrove victory over Wyalusing. Selinsgrove has been very successful since its program was restarted in 2007 and last year it made its second straight regional appearance. The day concluded with Milton defeating Dunmore 8-3.
The first of two loser’s bracket games started the tournament’s day two. Delaware Valley stayed alive with a blowout of its own, eliminating Wyalusing 18-4. Mountain Post also had an early exit, losing their second game to Dunmore by a score of 10-6. In the winner’s bracket contests, the region’s two recent powers stayed unbeaten with big wins. Plymouth beat Selinsgrove 14-4 and Abington crushed Milton 22-5 to move on to the winner’s bracket final.
The tournament’s third day began with two elimination contests. Dunmore kept its tournament hopes alive by eliminating Selinsgrove 11-6. Delaware Valley also gained its second straight victory 10-8, eliminating Milton in the process. In the nightcap, Plymouth beat Abington 7-2 to take the winner’s bracket final and a place in the final day’schampionship game. The end of the third day left just half of the tournament field remaining: undefeated Plymouth, and Dunmore, Abington, and Delaware Valley, each with one loss.
The championship qualifier round began with an elimination game between Abington and Delaware Valley. Here Delaware Valley’s tournament run and season ended at the hands of Abington, with a 12-1defeat. In Game 13 of the regional, Plymouth stayed unbeaten edging Dunmore 7-6. This win set up Plymouth well for the final day of tournament, since they would have to be beaten twice.
The tournament’s final day began with a morning start for Game 14. In a close one, Abington extended the tournament to a fifteenth game with a 9-8 victory. This result set up one game for the championship and state tournament berth, played by the two teams. This time both offenses were on display again. Plymouth claimed its second regional title in three years with a wild 24-20 victory. The Indians scored 76 runs in their 6 games in the tournament, while yielding 43.
Plymouth’s run in the state tournament was short lived. Despite a brief, early lead over lead over Boyertown, the host Bears knocked the Indians into the loser’s bracket with a 14-4, 7 inning victory. The next day, Plum eliminated Plymouth 11-3 in the tournament’s sixth game. This year, Plymouth will shoot for its third regional title in four years and hopes to make a return appearance to Boyertown for another state tournament.