Even though it was the top seed, I-Medical elected to go on the road and won at Young Township, 4-1, in the opening round of the Indiana County Youth Legion playoffs Monday evening.
S.W. Jack had no choice but to play on the road, and the Black Sox knocked off Kovacik Insurance by the same 4-1 score at WyoTech Park in Blairsville.
The best-of-three semifinals continue this evening, with I-Medical playing at home on Kuntz Field in Punxsutawney and S.W. Jack playing at home on Hogan Field at the White Township Recreation Complex.
If necessary, deciding third games will be played Wednesday in Punxsutawney and Blairsville to determine which two teams will square off for the county championship.
I-MEDICAL 4, YOUNG TOWNSHIP 1: I-Medical, the top seed, accommodated fourth-seeded Young Township by opening the playoffs at Bertolino field, which won’t be available this evening due to West Lebanon’s home game in the Indiana County League.
It didn’t matter where I-Med played with John Matthews on the mound. Matthews recorded 17 of a possible 21 outs by strikeout and did not issue a walk. He tossed a three-hitter, yielding the lone run in the first inning and the putting up zeroes the rest of the way.
“He threw an outstanding game,” Young Township manager J.T. Yard said. “He’s the best pitcher we’ve seen all year.”
I-Medical (19-2) trailed 1-0 until the fourth. With the bases loaded following two walks and a hit batsman, Matthews helped his own cause by stroking an RBI single.
In the fifth, Dakota Byers delivered a go-ahead RBI double. I-Medical added two runs in the seventh on Brandon Douthit’s bases-loaded single.