Copperheads bite Mill Run, 10-8
CARMICHAELS - The Mill Run County League baseball team played two solid offensive innings at Carmichaels on Sunday, picking up four runs in the second and three runs in the fourth. But those bursts couldn't withstand the Copperheads' eight-run fifth, as the home team struck for a 10-8 come-from-behind win.
'That was a very big game for us,' Carmichaels manager Dick Krause said. 'We've lost a number of tough games.'
Krause referred to an 11-11 tie at Bud Murphy's on Friday as an example of the times in which his team has squandered a lead.
'We've blown three or four leads, so to be able to come back and hold onto the lead was really significant for us.'
Mill Run manager Bugs Orndorff gave Carmichaels credit for an excellent rally.
'They came back hitting,' he said. 'They did a good job hitting. Of course, if we'd hit, we could've scored (more) runs, too.'
The Copperheads (4-5) took a brief lead early on when Mike Marsischak singled and scored in the top of the second. But Mill Run (8-2) used its half of the inning to quickly erase that advantage. Jeff Kooser started the team off by reaching first on a fielder's choice, and Ken Meadows followed with a double. Rich Orndorff got aboard on an error, allowing Kooser to get home, and Dennis Show slammed a triple into left field that scored both Meadows and Rich Orndorff. Jeremy Miller's base hit plated Show for a 4-1 Mill Run lead.
A few more hard hits increased Mill Run's edge to 7-1, as Show singled to left in the fourth and stole second. Kris Firestone doubled him in, and Firestone then came home on a double from Miller. Miller advanced on John Warrick's single. Carmichaels let Kooser get to first as the team tried to gun down Miller at the plate, but he was called safe on the play, and that extended the lead.
The situation wasn't so comfortable for Mill Run during the fifth inning, though, as the team watched the Copperheads score run after run. Vince Zapotosky sparked Carmichaels' offensive blast with a double to center.
'We had that one bad inning,' Bugs Orndorff said. '(Zapotosky) started off and hit that ball to center field. We had a couple of errors then, and it led up to a couple more hits after those errors.'
By the end of the inning, Zapotosky, Marsischak, Jeff Thompson, Ron Nopwasky, Charlie Humes, Ben Couch and Dwayne Dupont had all crossed home plate for a narrow 9-7 Copperheads edge.
Each team gained a run in the sixth inning, with Thompson and Miller singling and scoring, but Mill Run couldn't regain the advantage, as Carmichaels relief pitcher Mike Gresh kept the visitors under control after taking the mound in the fourth inning.
'Mike is a veteran pitcher,' Krause said, noting that Gresh has been back in the league for only a few seasons. 'Mike is in his mid-40s. He works hard, and he takes it very seriously. He did a great job for us today.'
Krause said his team's accomplishment was especially important considering the opponent.
'Year in and year out, Mill run is one of the best teams in the league,' he said, adding that the win was a 'great team effort. A lot of different guys contributed a lot of big plays. We desperately needed a win.'