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Connellsville 9-10s top Bullskin, 8-1

| Thursday, July 12, 2001

Behind an opportunistic offense, a solid defense, and strong pitching performance, Connellsville's 9- and 10-year-old All-Star team advanced in the District 9 Tournament with an 8-1 victory last evening at home over neighboring rival Bullskin.

Bullskin got off to a good start when leadoff hitter Robby Adey singled to right and advanced to second on a throwing error. A sacrifice bunt by Zach Guynn followed by a sacrifice fly by Tyler Domer brought Adey home for the first run of the game.

Connellsville answered in the bottom of the first, when, with the bases loaded, Sean DeCara smacked a single to left driving in Greg Welsh and Johnny Leonard, both of whom reached earlier with walks.

Cortese followed with another two-out single, scoring Billy Dye, and giving Connellsville a 3-1 lead after one inning. Connellsville added two runs in each of the next two innings.

In the bottom of second, Michael Herman and Nick Lattanzo each reached on errors, and scored on Welsh's single, and a wild pitch respectively. In the home half of the third, Jeremy Molinaro singled home Josh Galipeau, and Leonard's two-out infield single off of home plate scored Herman, giving Connellsville a 7-1 lead after three innings.

Seemingly in control after allowing just one run and two hits through the first three innings, Leonard faced his toughest test of the night in the top of the fourth as Bullskin loaded the bases with two singles and a walk with only one out. Leonard used a nifty curveball and pinpoint control to get two key strikeouts.

Leonard picked up the win, going the distance, and scattering only four hits, while striking out five and walking two, which earned praise from his manager, Bob Swope.

'Johnny threw really well for us tonight, but our defense deserves some credit as well,' said Swope.

Bullskin manager Dave Domer also credited Leonard.

'Leonard threw a great game, but we didn't get the timely hitting we needed either,' said Domer.

Following Bullskin's threat in the top half of the inning, Connellsville's Cortese scored his second run of the game on a Robert Myers single to make the final score 8-1.

DeCara and Molinaro led Connellsville's offense with two hits each, while Herman and Galipeau each scored twice.

Tyler Domer was the losing pitcher for Bullskin, striking out four and walking five in five innings of work.

Despite the loss, Bullskin stays alive, and will play the winner of the Mount Pleasant/Rostraver game on Saturday at a site to be determined.

'I thought our kids were a little nervous coming to play here (Connellsville) tonight, but they are definitely excited about the possibility of a rematch,' Domer said.

Connellsville advances to host the District 9 championship game, to be played next Tuesday.

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