Kovacik Insurance couldn’t finish off Punxsutawney, but Brookville took care of S.W. Jack in the Indiana County Youth legion playoff semifinals on Wednesday.
Kovacik lost to Punxsutawney, 5-4, after taking Tuesday’s opening game by the same score in the best-of-three series. The teams decide which will face Brookville for the county championship when they meet this evening in Blairsville.
Brookville completed its series sweep of S.W. Jack, winning 2-0 after taking the opening game 8-4. Brookville will play host to the first game of the county championship series, which will determine the representative in the Western Regional tournament at Homer City on July 20 to 24. S.W. Jack has earned a berth as the host team.
PUNXSUTAWNEY 5, KOVACIK INSURANCE 4: Punxsutawney erased a 4-2 deficit by scoring three runs in its final at-bat to stay alive in the series.
Punxsutawney, the third-place team in the regular season, used an error to start the winning rally and ended it with a passed ball. After Luke Miller reached on an error, Donnie Neese singled and Seth Moore was hit by a pitch with one out, loading the bases. Isaac London and Zeke Bennett followed with RBI singles, and Moore scored the winning run on a passed ball.
The game was tied at 2 when Andrew Baker gave Kovacik Insurance, the second-place team, a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly, and Braden Staats followed with an RBI single for a 4-2 lead.
Punxsutawney managed only five hits off three Kovacik pitchers. Staats suffered the loss, pitching the last 1 1-3 innings.
Bennett, the third Punxsutawney pitcher, picked up the win, allowing two of Kovacik’s 11 hits but giving up no runs in two innings.
Hank Skirboll went 4-for-4 with an RBI to lead Kovacik Insurance. Staats and Brayden Mickinac finished with two hits apiece. Staats, Andrew Baker and Anthony Lasser also had RBIs.
BROOKVILLE 2, S.W. JACK 0: Brookville won a pitchers’ duel, with Griffin Ruhlman and Jamison Rhoades teaming up on a five-hitter for the regular-season champion.
Branden Yanity pitched a complete game for S.W. Jack, yielding four hits and two runs but suffering the loss.
Ruhlman started and pitched the first six innings, allowing all five S.W. Jack hits. Rhoades came on in the final inning and recorded two of three outs by strikeout.
Brookville scored both runs in the fifth inning. Hunter Geer started the rally with a single and scored on Ruhlman’s base hit, and Bay Harper scored on Hunter Roney’s sacrifice fly after reaching on as single.