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Cokers fall to Wana B Heros

| Thursday, June 22, 2006

CARMICHAELS -- The only thing better than the way Wana B Heros started Wednesday's Fayette County Baseball League game against visiting Bud Murphy's was the way they ended it.

After scoring three runs in the first inning, Wana B Heros allowed the Cokers to come back and tie it in the seventh to send the game into extra innings. But Jono Menhart hit a game-winning grand slam in the 10th inning to lift Wana B Heros (3-9-1) to a thrilling 7-3 victory over Bud Murphy's (7-4).

"There was a little bit of everything in this game," Wana B Heros coach Jeff Denham said.

"We jumped out to an early lead, but we had a couple of miscues. But the guys never gave up. We had a real shaky start to the season, but in the last two games, we have beaten Carmichaels and Bud Murphy's."

Wana B Heros came out swinging. Drew Denham singled before Dan Novack, Phil Anderson and Justin Corso each ripped doubles to help the home team claim a 3-0 advantage in the first inning off of Bud Murphy's pitcher Casey Shultz.

But after the first, Shultz was dominant. He didn't allow another run until Menhart's blast in the 10th. Shultz gave up 11 hits and struck out 12.

"Casey gave up three runs in the first, and then they didn't touch him," Bud Murphy's coach Tom Sankovich said. "We didn't hit much, but we battled back, and Casey pitched a great game."

Bud Murphy's got a run in the fourth. Brian Showman singled and scored on a timely hit by Bubba Fox to make it 3-1. The score stayed that way until the seventh as Wana B Heros starter Bob Madison was also tossing a good game.

But in the seventh, the Cokers got two runs to send it into extra innings. Ryan Miscik led off with a double and scored when Mark Riggin reached on a fielder's choice. And with two outs, pinch-runner Nick Damico came home on an infield error that would have ended the game.

Instead, the teams battled on, but neither team could get much going in the eighth and ninth innings.

Wana B Heros got a tremendous relief effort from winning pitcher Adam Sattler. Sattler threw three scoreless innings.

Then in the bottom of the 10th, Wana B Heros finally broke through. With one out, Jamie Kowalczyk tripled, which forced the Cokers to intentionally walk the next two batters to load the bases. Then with two outs, Menhart stepped up and ended it by lining the first pitch he saw over the fence in right field.

"I was just trying to find grass," Menhart said. "All I wanted to do was hit it hard. I was sitting on a fastball and that was the only thing I was going to swing at on strike one. I was pumped up."

While Menhart and his teammates were pumped, the loss was deflating for Bud Murphy's, especially after battling in a game which featured some extra emotion. Both teams came onto the field after a hard take-out slide at second base in the ninth inning. No punches were thrown, and there were no ejections.

"We got some good out of this game because we hung in there and battled," Sankovich said.

Bud Murphy's will try to bounce back Sunday, when it hosts California in a doubleheader.

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