Bud Murphy's forces Game 7
CARMICHAELS - It's not over yet.
Bud Murphy's finally got its bats going Tuesday, staving off elimination from the Fayette County Baseball League championship series with a 15-3 win over Carmichaels in Game Six.
Bud's manager Tom Sankovich said the five-inning victory is a better indicator of his team's talent than previous series match-ups have been.
'We weren't nearly as bad as we were playing,' he said, referring to a couple of big losses in the series' fourth and fifth games. 'Brian (Sankovich) got us started, then (Brian) Shipley came through, and Nick (Damico) gutted it out.'
Brian Sankovich's two-run home run got the Cokers on the board, and he added a pair of doubles to finish three-for-three with three RBI. Shipley matched Brian Sankovich's two-run long ball and added a three-run shot. A two-run single brought his RBI total to seven.
Damico pitched all five innings, giving up five hits. Three of those hits came in the first inning, which Tom Sankovich said is typical.
'He usually has trouble in the first two innings,' he said. 'They hit him a little bit. If he gets past the second inning, he's pretty tough to beat.'
The Copperheads, on the other hand, struggled in every aspect of their game, manager Dick Krause said.
'It was a bad display of baseball. There wasn't one phase of our game that we had tonight,' he said. 'There was nothing we did right, and the outcome is to be expected.'
Carmichaels kept the first inning close, though, despite Brian Sankovich's round-tripper. Ken Gallentine singled and scored on the homer, handing Bud Murphy's a 2-0 lead before Brian Voithofer answered in the bottom of the inning by singling and scoring on Charlie Humes' base hit.
Still leading 2-1, the Cokers broke the game open in the second. Brian Showman, Jeff Lander and Rich Means loaded the bases on singles, and Joe Bonadio threaded a base hit through short to drive in Showman and Lander. Gallentine got aboard on an error to repack the bags before Brian Sankovich sent Means in on a sacrifice fly. Shipley's single plated Bonadio and Gallentine for a 7-1 Bud's advantage.
'We played nervous in the first couple of innings, and that was enough,' Krause said. 'For whatever reason, we just weren't ready.'
The Copperheads looked as though they were about to shape up in the third when the defense retired Bud Murphy's in order. But the Cokers' offense rebounded for a sixth-run fourth, sparked by Shipley's three-run shot and doubles from Brian Sankovich and Lander.
Carmichaels got two runs back in its half of the inning, with Mike Marcischak drawing a base on balls and scoring on Duane Dupont's two-run home run.
Up 13-3, Bud's needed some insurance runs to be sure of wrapping the game up early. Brian Sankovich and Shipley made sure the Cokers got them, as Brian Sankovich doubled down the third-base line and went home on Shipley's second homer of the day.
Bud Murphy's defense closed the game with three consecutive groundouts.
The victory evens the best-of-seven series at three games apiece. The deciding game will be played today at Breakneck Field.