Mill Run advances to FCBL semifinals
Mill Run's baseball season lives on.
After dropping the first game of its best-of-three, first-round Fayette County Baseball League playoff series to Mitch's Bail Bonds, Mill Run came back to win the series by taking Game 2 at home Friday and winning Game 3 at Charleroi, 8-2, on Sunday.
Mill Run (12-14-1) will begin a best-of-five semifinal series Tuesday on the road.
Mill Run took advantage of some ineffective pitching by Mitch's Bail Bonds starter Kevin McIntyre.
Bob Fulton and Dennis Show each singled and scored in the first inning, and Jim Warrick walked and scored. Jeremy Miller walked to force in a run, Andrew Brooks hit a sacrifice fly and Matt White added a two-out RBI single to give Mill Run a 3-0 lead.
"We stayed patient and we got some key hits at the right time," Mill Run coach Ray Orndorff said.
Ben Carson homered for Mitch's Bail Bonds (13-13-1) to cut Mill Run's lead to 3-1, but Mill Run responded with a four-run second to take control.
Dave Sumner singled and scored. Fulton, Warrick and Miller each walked and scored. Once again, White provided a big hit as he connected with a two-out, two-run double to stake Mill Run to a 7-1 lead.
"White's two-out hit was big," Orndorff said. "It opened the door for us."
After allowing seven runs, McIntyre was lifted in favor of A.J. Kerr, who pitched the rest of the game for Mitch's Bail Bonds.
"It was a tough decision as to whether to start Kevin or A.J.," Mitch's Bail Bonds coach Ryan Encapera said. "Kevin had a rough couple of innings and it just wasn't his day. Everything just didn't quite go our way."
Everything seemed to work in Mill Run's favor, beginning with the pitching of Bill Bendis. The left-hander pitched a five-hitter and struck out three. Carson's first-inning homer was the only extra-base hit that Bendis allowed.
"Any time that Bendis pitches he keeps us in the game, and he continues to do that," Orndorff said.
Bendis also benefited from three double plays turned behind him. Mill Run turned two in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
"Those double plays are a big boost for the team that gets them," Orndorff said.
The teams traded runs in the sixth. Andrew Brooks homered for Mill Run, and Brendan Costantino singled and scored for Mitch's Bail Bonds.
Mill Run finished with 10 hits. Show had a double and two singles.