Federation League All-Stars shine, 12-7

HOMER CITY โ€” A sunny Saturday evening proved to be the perfect atmosphere for the Federation League All-Stars to take down the Indiana County League (ICL) All-Stars, 12-7, in a competitive interleague game played at First Commonwealth Field in Homer City.

The Rossiter Miners sent five All-Stars to Saturday night's game: Christian Muth, Matt Gourley, Pete Meterko, Tommy Bush and Dakota Bish. Both Muth and Gourley were given the nod as starters for the Fed League. Bish entered the game in the sixth inning, while Meterko and Bush both came in during the seventh.

Muth stood out throughout the game, pitching two innings and going 2-for-4 from the plate. He hit a double to left field and scored once. While pitching, Muth allowed just two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out one batter.

Paul Roman, manager of the All-Stars and president of the Federation League, recognized Muth's effort.

"Well, (Jon) Kemmer and Muth played all nine innings," Roman said. "So to me, they were the (all-stars) because they played the whole game."

Gourley also had an impressive game, going 2-for-3 with RBIs. During the top of the third, Gourley hit a two-run homer to left field, giving the Fed League a 5-1 lead.

The game started off strong for the ICL All-Stars, as starting pitcher Craig Sabota retired the first three Fed League batters.

ICL also scored its first run during the bottom of the first stanza, as Fed League starting pitcher Craig Hibell, of the Brookville Grays, allowed one run on two hits and a walk. The first batter Hibell faced, Ryan Bernat, hit a triple to deep right field and eventually crossed home plate after a sacrifice fly by Troy Trimble.

During the second inning, the Fed League's offense began to take off. Grays' Jed Fiscus and Eric Painter both scored. In the third, Jon Kemmer, of the DuBois Rockets, ran in NAPA Auto Parts' Josh Beimel and scored after Gourley's home run.

A five-run fourth inning by the Federation League gave it a 10-1 lead, from which the ICL All-Stars would never be able to recover.

During the bottom of the fifth, ICL scored twice, both run in by Doug McNutty after a single to right field.

ICL improved the score to 10-4 during the sixth stanza, when Garret Mack crossed home plate after Bernat was walked with the bases loaded.

During the seventh, the Fed League put it even further out of reach, as Dean Williams, of the Sykesville Senators, and Bush both scored.

As the game was coming to a close, ICL made a push during the ninth. NAPA's Josh Biemel, who pitched the final inning, allowed three runs on three hits and a walk. The Fed League All-Stars began to get a bit nervous.

"We were warming a pitcher up, just in case," Roman said. "We were โ€” maybe not worried โ€” but we were thinking about (getting worried)."

Roman said he was pleased overall with the effort of everyone on the Fed League team. Roman played a total of seven pitchers, with Muth and Williams each pitching two stanzas, and 15 different hitters. The team totaled 12 runs and 17 hits. Roman joked with the team after the game that he was disappointed with the five errors recorded.

"It's hard to get upset when you have that big of a lead, and they're not all my players," Roman said. "I mean, we have some people out of position. In an All-Star game, you take who the managers vote you, so some (had to be) out of position."

Roman was pleased with not just the win but the game itself.

"Everyone showed up and had a good time," Roman said. "It feels great to win, on their field too. It's a beautiful field, (and) hospitality wise, they treated us well."

Roman said he will be in discussion with Indiana County League president Nick Pinizzotto to determine if the two leagues will play another All-Star game next season or if they will revert to interleague play, as scheduled in previous years.