Fezell picks up first win in a rout over Union

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Fezell Enterprise scored multiple runs in four of its five trips to the plate en route to its first win of the young season Monday evening in Punxsutawney — a 14-4, five-inning affair against Union in Indiana County Youth Legion action.

"It was great to get our first win," Punxsy coach Joe DiPietro said after the game. "These guys have been getting better with every practice and every game."

While Fezell scored early and often, it was actually Union that drew first blood, putting up a two-spot in the visitor's half of the first.

Michael Norris got things started with a one-out single off starter Keeston Perry, and two batters later, he scored on a rocket of a line drive down the left field line for a triple by cleanup hitter Will Palmer.

Palmer scored on a passed ball to put his team ahead 2-0.

Fezell wasted no time answering in the home half of the frame, though, as it scored five runs on just two hits.

Leadoff hitter Dylan Bender reached after being hit by a pitch, and he quickly advanced all the way around to third after stealing second and moving to third on a wild throw by Union's catcher.

No. 2 hitter Peyton Graham walked for Fezell, and when ball four skipped to the backstop, Bender sprinted home to put his squad on the board.

Dylan Huey reached base when he hit a sharp grounder to short and Union tried to get Graham, who was stealing, at second.

Both runners were safe, setting the stage for a one-out RBI double by Zach Bevak two hitters later.

With runners on second and third, Perry helped his own cause by singling up the middle, plating a pair of runs.

And when the single skipped past the left fielder, Perry advanced to third base.

Joey DiPietro moved Perry to third on a groundout to the shortstop, and Perry came across to finish the five-run streak on a wild pitch.

Perry set Union down in order with the help of two strikeouts, and Fezell kept things rolling with three more in the bottom of the frame.

Caleb Smith started things with a leadoff walk, and after he stole both second and third, Bender reached via walk, as well. Bender stole second, and Graham came through with an RBI single to set the score at 6-2.

Huey reached base again on another sharply-hit ball to short, plating Bender. Graham scored on another throwing error on the catcher, and Fezell's lead was pushed to 8-2.

Union put its final two runs on the scoreboard in the top of the third on two hits. Brent Mack led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

After Travis Gabelli walked, both runners moved up one base on a groundout to first. Warren Lowther drove in the first run on a groundout to the pitcher, and the second came across on a fielding error, bringing Union back within four runs.

Four was as close as it would come, though, as Fezell poured on four more runs in the bottom of the fourth by bringing eight hitters to the plate.

Pinch hitter Kevin Hutton led off the inning with an infield single, and Bender reached on his third free pass of the day.

Graham reached safely for the third consecutive time on an error, as a throw shot past the first baseman and into the outfield.

Graham ended up on third before the ball came back into the infield, and both Hutton and Bender came around to score.

Another pinch hitter, Tyler Geer, came through with an RBI single past the shortstop. Geer stole second, moved to third on a single by Bevak and scored on a passed ball for Fezell's fourth run in the fourth.

Graham, who had come on in relief in the top of the fourth, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, and Fezell put an end to the game in the home half due to the ten-run rule.

Needing just two runs, Trent Stouffer started the inning with a leadoff walk, and Union turned to relief pitcher Brendan Lawton.

Canaan Knox earned a walk of his own after Stouffer had stolen second and moved to third on a passed ball.

Knox stole second uncontested, and on the next pitch, Bender put Punxsy one run away from the win with an RBI single.

Bender stole second to eliminate the force play, and Graham ended things with an RBI single of his own.

With the win, Fezell improves to 1-3 on the season and will play its next game Friday, when it travels to Young Township for a 6 p.m. contest.