I-Medical puts up 17 in victory over Walbeck

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Hunter Hickok and Dakotah Byers combined to pitch a two-hitter, and I-Medical's bats did the rest, helping Punxsy cruise to a 17-4, five-inning victory over Walbeck in Indiana County Youth Legion action Friday in Punxsutawney.

Hickok allowed three runs, none of which were earned, and Byers allowed just one on a balk.

Hickok's line included four strikeouts, and Byers fanned three in just two innings of work.

I-Medical jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, bringing 11 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the first after Hunter Hickok retired the side in order in the top half.

The first four I-Medical batters had to do little but watch to reach base, but they made up for it once they got on.

Leadoff hitter Bryson Paulinellie was hit by the first pitch he saw and quickly moved up two bases on a pair of wild pitches.

No. 2 hitter Dakota Thomas reached on a pain-free free pass and stole second uncontested with Paulinellie still on third.

Both Paulinellie and Thomas ended up scoring on wild pitches to give Punxsy a 2-0 lead.

Clayton Dale and Hickok each reached via walks, as well, and Walbeck quickly made a pitching change from starter Kolby Skelletty to reliever Stephen Novak.

Walbeck recorded its first out when Brandon Blose grounded into an RBI fielder's choice to plate Dale.

Byers kept things rolling for I-Medical with a single to left, and he advanced to second on an error.

Ruben Taylor drove in another on a single the opposite way, and Lance Pennington plated the sixth first-inning run with an RBI groundout.

Paulinellie drove home the last of the seven runs with an RBI single, and I-Medical never looked back.

Hickok set Walbeck down in order again to stay perfect through two, and Punxsy kept the good times rolling with five more in the second, batting around again.

Dale started things with an infield single of the rare variety on a pop up that fell between three infielders.

Hickok drove a double deep to right center to plate Dale, who had advanced to third on a throwing error, and Blose followed with an RBI double of his own to the fence in left.

Byers plated a third run with a single and moved to second on another fielding error.

Taylor was hit by a pitch to put a pair on again.

With two outs, Ambler did it again with his second single to bring in Byers, and Taylor scored on a groundout to set the score at 12-0.

Hickok allowed his only hit in his three innings in the third, but a pair of errors and a walk allowed the visitors to score three runs to temporarily pull back within the 10-run limit for the mercy rule after five.

I-Medical was kept off the board for the only time in the third, and Walbeck picked up another on a balk by reliever Byers in the fourth.

But Punxsy came back with a vengeance in it's half of the fourth, plating five more to put it out of reach for good.

Ambler started it with his third single of the night, and he quickly scored on a triple off the bat of Paulinellie.

Thomas made it back-to-back RBI hits with a double to right-center.

Dale walked, and Punxsy benefitted from another E7.

Thomas scored on a double steal; Dale scored on a sac fly by Byers; and Hickok scored on a wild pitch for the final run of the game.

Byers made quick work of his opponents in the fifth, setting them down in order to ice the win.