Chucks' early hitting frenzy seals a 14-7 victory over rival Raiders

BROOKVILLE — The Chucks' early hitting frenzy built a large enough lead to hold off the surging Raiders in a 14-7 win Monday at McKinley Field in Brook-ville.

"We hit the ball really well today early on. Our approaches late weren't as aggressive as I'd like them to be; I think that's why we cooled down a little bit. A lot of the credit goes to the guys swinging the bats early and getting us a big lead," said Mike Dickey, Chucks coach.

Punxsy tallied 14 total hits, with 12 of those coming in the second and third innings (6 in each). The Chucks had all nine starters record a hit in the win, with 14 different batters taking to the plate. Brookville registered eight total hits when all was said and done Monday.

"The (reserve) guys work hard in practice every day, and when you can get them a little time here and there, it's considered a successful day. Those guys are important too," said Dickey.

The Chucks' most notable hit came off the bat of Michael Klingensmith, who blasted a three-run dinger over the right field wall in the second inning. Klingensmith was 1-for-3 on the night.

Ty Zimmerman also had a productive night at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored.

Dakotah Byers helped the winning cause by going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Ryan Sloniger also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Christian Falgout was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Clayton Dale was 2-for-3 on the night with an RBI and two runs scored. Jamie Bush went 2-for-2 from the plate with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Garrett Zimmerman and Cory Geer each had a hit, and Michael Blose recorded an RBI to help the Chucks secure the victory.

The Raiders saw a solid outing at the plate from senior Cam Yard, who went 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Brookville's Ashtin Matthews went 1-for-3 with three runs scored. Nathan St. Laurent was 1-for-1 with a double and two runs scored.

Nathan Bonfardine went 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Shawn Blochberger was also 1-for-3 on the night with an RBI.

Kyle Dunkle recorded a hit, and so did Jarren Ross in the Raiders' defeat at the hands of the Chucks.

The Chucks grabbed a 1-0 lead after their first at bat when they were able to capitalize on a pair of errors by the Raiders.

Brookville returned the favor and was able to score two runs thanks to a hit from Yard and three Punxsy errors.

The Raiders had a 2-1 lead after one inning, but that would not last long.

Falgout and Geer opened the second inning with back-to-back singles. The Chucks tied the contest at two when Byers hit a sac fly to left field.

After that, Dale smacked a double to left field, followed by an RBI-single off the bat of Sloniger.

Ty Zimmerman's sac fly scored another run but provided the second out. 
Bush was not bothered by the pressure, as he slugged a single to center field.

Klingensmith stepped up to the plate next and brought his two teammates home with his monster crank over the right field wall.

Garrett Zimmerman followed up with a single but was left stranded when Falgout was put out 4-3 for the third out. But after six hits and 10 batters, the Chucks had established a 7-2 lead they would not lose.

Brookville's Ross and Matthews both recorded hits in the second inning but could not cross home plate before the third out.

The Chucks saw more of the same in their third inning at the plate. Byers, Ty Zimmerman and Bush all recorded doubles, while Dale, Falgout and Sloniger all registered singles to give their team a 12-2 advantage by 
the end of the third inning.

Byers opened with a double to start the fourth inning. Next up was pinch-hitter Taylor Phillips, who earned the base by getting drilled by a pitch from Bonfardine. Byers scored off a sac-fly from Ty Zimmerman, and Phillips made it home off a Raider error while Klingensmith was at bat.

Punxsy looked as if it was going to close the game via the ten-run rule after five innings, as Brookville took to bat down 14-2 to start the bottom of the fifth.

The Raiders, however, would not go down without a fight. St. Laurent's double, along with a three-RBI single from Yard and an RBI single from Blochberger cut the Chucks lead to 14-6 by the end of the inning.

"I'm not real pleased with how we closed things out there. But (I) give Brookville credit too, they battled and they kept playing. We allowed them some free passes when we didn't make a couple plays, and all of a sudden it's a game again," said Dickey.

In the final three innings, the Chucks only registered one hit, which came from Ty Zimmerman in the sixth frame.

Brookville's Bonfardine smacked an RBI double in the sixth inning to score one final run for the Raiders.

Pitcher Hunter Hickok allowed one hit off the bat of Dunkle but was able to strand two Raider runners in the seventh inning to secure the Chucks' 14-7 victory.

Punxsy sent three pitchers to the mound by the end of the night.

Bush got the start and pitched 1-1/3 innings with a strikeout and two walks and allowed two runs on three hits.

Matt Burkett stepped in during the second inning and pitched 2-2/3 innings with four walks, allowing four runs on three hits.

Hickok pitched the last three innings with two strikeouts, two walks and just one run allowed on two hits.

"He (Hickok) had his moments. I'd still like to see both of those guys (Hickok and Burkett) pound the strike zone with a 12-run lead. You just have to pound the strike zone and make them earn everything they get. If they hit three solo home runs in a row, so be it, because they earned all three of them. We talked about that, and our guys know what they need to do in those situations," said Dickey.

Brookville also sent three pitchers to the hill Monday. Matthews started the contest and pitched two complete innings with a strikeout and a walk and allowed seven runs on six hits.

Zach Byerly stepped in to pitch the third inning with a strikeout, one walk five runs allowed on six hits.

Bonfardine pitched the last four innings with six strikeouts and three walks and allowed two runs on two hits.

The Chucks will return to action Wednesday in a 4:15 p.m. contest at St. Marys.