Kittanning baseball scores 5 runs in 1 inning for win
What looked like a rivalry game headed down to the wire ended up being a comfortable win for Kittanning.
Andy Fennell threw six scoreless innings, and the Wildcats scored five runs in the seventh inning to pull away for a nonsection win Thursday at Ford City, 6-0.
Fennell allowed three hits and struck out eight before Nash Matson came in to pitch the seventh in the first win for Kittanning (2-5) over the Sabers since 2010. Shawn Shaner doubled twice and drove in a run, and Sam Keibler had RBI hits in the third and seventh innings for the Wildcats.
“I'm very pleased with the performance (by Fennell) as a freshman coming up here to Ford City,” Kittanning coach John Davis said. “He pitched himself out of a couple of jams, and we played real good defense behind him with only one error today. This should be a big confidence boost for him and for the team.”
Ford City (2-5) pitcher Ashton McGinnis held Kittanning to just one run on four hits through the first six innings before the Wildcats broke through with six hits to score their runs in the final frame.
Though it only cost them one run, the Sabers committed four errors in the game. That disappointed the Ford City coaches one day after the team picked up a big section win over Freeport.
“We didn't square anything up against their pitcher, and that's two days in a row because we didn't hit well against Freeport, either,” Ford City coach Dennis Montgomery said. “When you make more errors than you have hits, that's not a winning formula. Freeport kind of handed us a win yesterday, and Kittanning didn't today.”
Zane Dudek got the offense started for Kittanning with a leadoff single in the third inning. The speedy freshman then stole second and third to get in position to score on a groundout to short by Keibler.
That was the only score until Kittanning batted in the final inning, when Tre Montebell led off by reaching base for the third time with his second single of the game.
Dudek, Keibler, Shaner and Christian Miller drove in a run each with a hit in the inning, and Liam Doms' single and a Ford City error on the play allowed Miller to score the final run.
The big seventh inning by Kittanning came one day after Highlands posted a big final inning to rally against the Wildcats, which made Davis happy about his team's ability to bounce back.
“We talked on the way over here about forgetting yesterday and focusing on what we had to do to get back to winning,” Davis said. “Tip your cap to Ashton (McGinnis), who pitched a great game, too. It looked like it was going to come right down to the end there, but we finally got to him with a couple of solid hits in the last inning.”
Ford City tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh when two batters reached base with walks. No. 3 hitter Blake Bower then cracked a long drive to center field with two outs, but Dudek was able to chase it down and catch the final out a few strides in front of the fence.
“We didn't play well,” Montgomery said. “I told our guys to enjoy the three-day weekend, and hopefully they come back ready for a full schedule of five games next week.”