ST. MARYS — In the second round of the 11- and 12-year-old baseball All-Stars tournament, Punxsy picked up a convincing 11-6 victory over St. Marys to earn a berth in the winners' bracket championship and the right to play for the tournament's king seed Monday in DuBois.
After the game, Punxsy head coach Brad Gigliotti had lots of positives to point out about his team's performance.
"They were just hitting the ball so well tonight," he said. "We made a few mistakes in the field, but not many. And hey, we put 11 runs on the board. I keep telling these guys that scoring those kinds of runs will give you the cushion you need. They all just played very well."
Punxsy was the visiting team after the coin toss, and the visitors scored a quick run to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
Brandon Matthews started things when he reached base safely on an error, and Matt Blose followed suit, reaching in the same manner.
On the overthrow to first that allowed Blose to reach safely, Matthews scampered home, and St. Marys starter Nate Beimel worked out of the jam from that point to hold the lead to one.
St. Marys actually led briefly after scoring a pair in the bottom of the first off Punxsy starter Tyler Richardson, but Punxsy answered right back with two more in the second to take a 3-2 lead.
Zander Neal gave Punxsy its first run with a bit of instant offense, belting a solo homer to tie the game at two. And after his shot, Johnny Serian walked and stole second base.
With a runner in scoring position, Tyler Getch earned a single to plate Serian and give Punxsy the lead back for good.
Richardson and relief pitcher Matthews combined to keep St. Marys off the board in the second, and Punxsy had its most productive inning in the third — batting around and scoring seven runs.
It all started when Blose was hit by a pitch, and Richardson followed with a single to put two on. Sammy Gigliotti came up next and belted a two-RBI single to score both Blose and Richardson and push the lead to 5-2.
Matt Greenblatt singled to plate Gigliotti, and Neal reached on an error to keep the Punxsy run going.
Serian plated two more with a single, Getch singled again, and Matthews rounded out the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
St. Marys scored one in the third inning to cut the lead to 10-3, and the scoring stopped there.
Punxsy added its 11th run in the fifth on an RBI double by Richardson, plating Matthews to extend the lead to 11-3.
Colton Roken singled in the sixth, but was stranded, and St. Marys added three runs in the home half off reliever Gigliotti, but it was too little, too late, as the visiting team earned its victory.