Blackhawks fall behind in Tuesday's County League game
Indiana's Amfire Mining faced a must-win situation in Game 6 of the Indiana County League championship series, scheduled yesterday at Bovard after being postponed by rain Wednesday.
The defending champions, the Blackhawks found themselves down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series after suffering a 13-6 loss Tuesday at the White Township Complex.
A day after being shut out, 5-0, by Indiana's Joel Martin, Bovard erupted for five runs in the top of the first inning Tuesday. Nick Fetterman's three-run triple capped the inning.
"We just got off to a bad start," said Amfire manager Nick Pinizzotto. "If you spot a team five runs, it's going to be difficult to get back."
"We hit the ball really well," with 11 hits, he noted. But, "We have to pitch better."
Mike Violi started on the mound for Amfire, giving up nine runs, striking out three and walking three in less than three innings.
"It was a lot easier to pitch with a lead," Bovard manager and winning pitcher Mike Johnson said. "When you have guys hitting the ball like we did, all I had to do was throw strikes and let the defense make plays."
Johnson struck out seven and pitched a complete game as Bovard racked up 15 hits.
Anthony Manley went 2 for 5 with three RBIs, Dan Moyer went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and Nick Glesk hit two solo home runs.
Pinizzotto acknowledged that the Blackhawks have been challenged by the Bison offense.
"They've got a great team, the best offensive lineup I've seen," he said of Bovard. "There are no easy outs, no one you can try to pitch around. Every one of them is a solid hitter.
"If it gets into a slugfest, that takes us out of what we want to do."
Chad Blystone, Troy Trimble and Mike Powell hit doubles for the Blackhawks. Sean Ryan went 3 for 4.
With previous experience playing in and winning the championship series, Pinizzotto noted, "This is the first time we've had to go this deep into the series. In a seven-game series, anything can happen."
He expressed hope that Wednesday's rain-out would "let us get our pitching back on track," after the players had a day of rest.
If a seventh game is necessary, it will be played this afternoon at the White Township Complex.
In Monday's Game 4, at Bovard, Martin allowed three hits and struck out 10.
Aaron Princes snapped a scoreless tie with a three-run home in the fifth inning off Alex Naggy. Todd Smyers added a solo shot later in the frame.