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BV stays alive with 9-2 win in Legion playoffs

| Thursday, July 10, 2014, 1:32 p.m.

Dylan Pietrantoni was at his best when his Belle Vernon Legion team need him most.

Pietrantoni pitched a complete game and struck out 11 as Belle Vernon kept its season alive with a 9-2 victory over Carmichaels in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

Josh Kucmeroski drove in three runs and Adam Holliday homered as Belle Vernon snapped a five-game losing streak.

The deciding game is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the John DiVirgilio Sports Complex.

“This game feels good,” Belle Vernon manager Bill Frankel said. “The team came to play today. They were loose, ready to play and most importantly they had fun while they were out there. This was the team from the beginning of the season.”

Kucmeroski's two-run double in the seventh and Holliday's 360-foot solo shot in the eighth capped a 16-hit explosion for a Belle Vernon team that has been struggling to get timely hits.

Every Belle Vernon player in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Kucmeroski, Holliday and Jimmy Amoroso had three hits each and Niko Tasser had two.

“We've really been leaving a lot of runners on base and not getting hits with runners in scoring position lately,” Frankel said. “But today we didn't have that problem and everybody contributed.”

Belle Vernon put up two runs in the first inning and one in the second to jump out to a quick 3-0 lead. Matt Bashioum led off the game with a walk and scored on Kucmeroski's infield single. Amoroso scored moments later on a balk by Carmichaels starting pitcher Josh Mundell.

With two outs in the second, Bashioum walked again, stole second and scored on Amoroso's single to right.

Carmichaels clawed back into the game with two runs on three hits in the third.

Ty Cole, Mike Blasinsky and Bill Bowlen hit consecutive singles, with Cole scoring on Bowlen's hit and Blasinsky coming home on Cory Fuller's groundout.

But that was the last run forCarmichaels, as Pietrantoni cruised through the last four innings. The St. Vincent recruit scattered 10 singles and two walks while allowing only one earned run.

“Pietrantoni, when he's on his game, there aren't many pitchers that good around,” Frankel said. “He was excellent on the mound today.”

Leading 3-2, Belle Vernon broke the game open in the fifth, pushing three runs across with two outs. After a third-to-first double play left Dylan Stark on second, Belle Vernon strung together four consecutive hits. Holliday's double scored Stark, and Matt Benicky advanced Holliday to third with an infield single before RBI singles by Tyler Simsic and Tasser.

Cole and Bowlen each had two hits for Carmichaels, and Blasinsky reached base three times.

Mundell was the losing pitcher, throwing seven innings and giving up 15 hits and eight runs while striking out six. Joel Spishock pitched the remaining two innings, giving up only one hit — Holliday's home run.

“I put a good swing on it,” Holliday said. “It felt good. I never hit a home run in my high school career, so I'm happy I got this one.”

Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.