SENIOR LEGION BASEBALL: Top seeds stumble in openers
So much for playoff seeding.
The top two seeds in the Indiana County Senior Legion playoffs stumbled and lost their postseason openers Thursday.
Fourth-seeded Young Township pulled away late for a 7-5 victory over regular-season champion Kovacik Insurance in Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinal series, while Marion Center got past second-seeded Punxsutawney, 4-2, despite not having one of its best offensive days.
In Blairsville, leadoff hitter Tanner Baylor led Young Township’s (13-7) upset win over Kovacik Insurance, going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.
Mitchell Johnston and Mitchel Yard also doubled.
Delbert Brown picked up the win despite walking nine. He struck out three and allowed five runs on three hits in five innings.
Reed Ratkus took the loss for Kovacik (17-4), striking out three and walking three in seven innings. Just four of his seven runs allowed were earned.
Ratkus went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs. Andrew Iezzi scored two runs.
The series shifts to Young Township for tonight’s Game 2.
In Punxsutawney, Marion Center jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and hung on despite mustering just three hits.
Luke Ruddock recorded Marion Center’s last hit, a solo home run in the second inning to extend the visitors’ lead to 4-0.
Stiles earned the win, limiting Punxsutawney to four hits and three walks over seven innings.
Punxsutawney scored two runs in the bottom of the second to pull within 4-2 but got no closer.
Game 2 is this evening in Marion Center.