Teagarden paces Mitch's in 10-5 win
Scraping together a lineup has become an art for many Fayette County League managers. It's an art that Mitch's Bail Bonds' Ryan Encapera is learning to master.
Scheduled starting pitcher Brian Fisher was unavailable Wednesday, leaving the Jailbirds with just nine guys in the lineup.
No worries, though, as Mitch's scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to knock off Company G, 10-5, and move to 6-0 on the season.
“The key was that we have a few really good, veteran players mixed in there with the young guys,” Encapera said.
With Company G leading 5-3 in the fifth, Encapera singled and Russ Ritenour and Charleroi's Matt Szersen walked to load the bases.
The next batter was Casey Teagarden, who also drew a walk to drive in the first of five runs in the inning. Teagarden, a Hempfield Area native, played baseball and football at Cal U.
A two-run single by Adam Jacko, who finished 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs, plated Teagarden and Szersen.
Cleanup hitter Jacob Newton was hit by a pitch to load the bases for former league MVP Andy Schliehauf, who drilled a one-hopper to the right field fence to score Gavin Sikorski and Jacko. Newton was thrown out at the plate to end the inning with the Jailbirds up 8-5.
“It's nice to have a guy like Schliehauf,” Encapera said. “He used to play for Bud Murphy's. He just crushes the ball.”
Teagarden entered the game in relief of Szersen in the top of the fifth, and Company G batters were no match for the change of pace that he presented.
“Casey pitched great, and he just pounded the strike zone. That's what he does. He was throwing a lot harder than Matt was, too,” Encapera said of the former Vulcans standout. “I knew when we got the lead with him in there that the game was over.”
Teagarden picked up the win, throwing the final three innings. He only allowed one hit and struck out six.
The Jailbirds led off the bottom of the sixth with three straight singles by Jason Paris, Encapera and Ritenour. Ritenour knocked in Paris, and Encapera later scored on a Teagarden single. Teagarden finished 2 for 3 with three RBI.
Mitch's was able to take advantage of 11 walks by Company G pitchers, who were unable to strike out a batter.
Frank Raffits picked up the loss on the mound. He threw only 2⁄3 of an inning, allowing five hits and four runs. He walked three.
“We were really patient at the plate and were able to take advantage when we had guys on base,” Encapera said.
Company G (0-5) opened the scoring with an RBI single by Billy Simpson that scored Robert Gondura. Three batters later, Taylor May knocked in two more runs with a bloop single to right to give Company G a 3-0 lead.
Gondura and Ian Malon added RBI singles in the third for the visitors.
The Jailbirds hit the diamond today, hosting N.Y. Pizza in the first game of a home-and-home series. Fisher's first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Szersen threw four innings for Mitch's and gave up five earned runs on six hits. He walked five batters. ... Newton suffered an apparent hamstring injury after being thrown out at home. Encapera said his status for Wednesday is unknown. Company G's Gondura, who finished 2 for 3 at the plate, and Zack Hibbs combined to throw 4 1⁄3 innings. They both walked four batters. Mitch's will travel to N.Y. Pizza for an 8 p.m. start on Thursday.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.