Senior Legion sweeps past Creps United
PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsy's John J. Fisher Post 62 Senior Legion team had an all-around solid performance with pitcher Cory Geer throwing a three-hit shuout and the offense scoring 10 runs over four-plus innings on nine hits to pick up a 10-0, five-inning win over Creps United Publications Tuesday in Punxsutawney.
"We swung the bats pretty well; we ran the bases pretty well; and we got a pretty good pitching performance from Cory," Punxsy head coach Mike Dickey said after the game. "It's pretty simple. When you do those things, you'll usually come out on top."
Creps threatened right off the bat, loading the bases in its first crack with the help of some controle issues for Geer.
Creps leadoff hitter Bo Putt started the game with a single to right, but with Brandon Smith at the plate, Geer caught Putt breaking for second.
Punxsy almost had Putt, but he evaded the tag and slid safely into second base after an extended rundown.
Smith followed it up with a walk to put runners on first and second, and the runners each advanced one base on an attempted pickoff play at second that saw the ball end up in center field.
But Geer took some of the pressure off his squad by striking out the next two hitters looking, freezing them both with his curveball.
A two-out walk to Greg Zoka loaded the sacks, but Punxsy got out of the frame unscathed with a flyout to right fielder Taylor Phillips.
Creps starter Chris Lauver wasted no time setting Punxsy down in the first, retiring the first three hitters he faced and keeping the score knotted at zero.
Geer mirrored the performance in the second inning, retiring Nathan Blose, Justin Soltile and Tommy DuBose on three consecutive grounders.
Punxsy cracked the scoreboard in the second, scoring one run on a pair of hits.
Cleanup hitter Joe Pisano snuck into second for a leadoff double — just beating the throw and tag — and he advanced to third when designated hitter Spencer Levy singled to left.
With Luke Janocha at the dish, Pisano came in to score after Levy was originally called out on the tag while diving back into first base during a rundown.
The umpires convened and ruled he was never tagged, though, giving Levy new life. But after a strikeout gave Lauver his first out of the inning, he caught Levy in another pickle, and he wasn't so lucky this time, as he was retired for the second out.
A nice play by the third baseman ended the inning with Punxsy ahead, but by only one run, 1-0.
After Geer issued a leadoff walk, shortstop Zak Dickey and second baseman Michael Klingensmith teamed up to turn a pretty 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Smith.
Kuta reached on an error by Geer, but Punxsy's hurler rebounded by striking out Ellis looking again to end the inning.
In the third, Punxsy really started to pour it on, plating three runs on four hits.
Geer helped his own cause with a leadoff single, and Klingensmith opened the floodgates with an RBI double to deep right-center field.
Dickey drove in Klingensmith by pushing an outside pitch to right field, and Clayton Dale finished off the third-inning scoring with an RBI groundout to second base.
Jamie Bush followed with a single, but after he stole second, he was stranded there, as Lauver managed a pair of lazy flyouts to end the inning.
Geer continued to mix his pitches and keep his opponents off balance, retiring the side in order once again with the help of two nice catches by center fielder Luke Janocha to keep the momentum on Punxsy's side.
And Punxsy rolled with that momentum with the bats to put up a five spot in the home half of the fourth to take a commanding 9-0 lead.
Back-to-back leadoff walks to Janocha and Dakota Thomas put Punxsy in business, and Geer further helped his cause with an RBI double to deep left scoring Janocha.
Klingensmith then grabbed his second RBI of the game with a single to plate Geer.
Dickey struck out for the first out of the inning, but Klingensmith stole second on the third strike and quickly advanced to third on a wild pitch with Dale in the box.
Dale walked to put runners on the corners, and Klingensmith scored on an RBI infield single in the hole between short and third by Matt Burkett, who had entered in the top half of the inning for Bush.
Dale moved to third on the single and scored during the next at-bat when Pisano flew out to deep center field for a sacrifice fly.
Levy walked to put two on again, but a strikeout got relief pitcher Putt out of the jam.
Creps tripled its hit total in the fifth with a leadoff single by Soltile and a one-out hit by Smith. Despite the two hits and a Kuta walk, though, Creps left the bases packed again, as Geer managed to scatter three strikeouts to maintain the shutout.
Putt picked up a quick out in the home half of the fifth, needing to keep Punxsy off the board to prevent the game concluding via the 10-run mercy rule.
But with one out, Geer reached for the third time on a sharply-hit ball that was too hot for the third baseman to handle.
Geer ended up advancing the whole way to third before Klingensmith even stepped into the box, as an errant throw to second to try to get him skipped into right field.
Klingensmith saw just one pitch, and that pitch skipped to the backstop, allowing Geer to score the 10th run and ending the game with Punxsy as the victor.
Geer's line for the game from the mound was solid — five innings, no runs on three hits, four walks and six strikeouts — and he impressed from the plate, as well, going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored.
Klingensmith also had a successful day at the plate, rounding out a good game by the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, going 2-for-2 with a double, a single, two RBIs and two runs scored.