By: Joshua Yoder
LEWISTOWN – Foxpro took advantage of two big offensive innings to take a 10-6 victory over the Spike Island Pirates in the second round of the CCBL playoffs on Sunday afternoon over at Mifflin County High School.
The Predators stormed out the gate in the bottom half of the first inning of the play and dropped four homes in the frame. It all started with one Jaxson Pupo who came to the plate with two outs and on an 0-2 count blasted one over the left field fence to bring home himself along with big brother Evan to put Foxpro up 2-0.
They were able to keep the two out rally going as later in the inning, Landon Black singled in Ethan Eichhorn and as the ball came out of center field, the throw was wild which allowed Austin Dunlap to score to make it 4-0.
The Pirates came back in the top of the second inning as Nick Capparelle singled in Derek Frazel to cut the lead down to 4-1. Spike Island added another run in the top half of the third thanks to Jeremy Whitehead who reached on a fielder’s choice but scored Ryan Kephart to make it 4-2.
Foxpro responded in the bottom of third as the Pupo brothers were at it again as Evan led off with a double and then later in the inning Jaxson hammered a double of his own to extend the lead to 5-2.
The Pirates were given another run in the top half of the fourth inning with a lead off bomb by catcher Michael Kitko.
The Predators responded in the bottom of the fourth in a big way with another four run inning. Josh Rosefsky came up with a monstrous shot to left field for a two run home run that also scored Black. Isaiah Kearns singled in Tristin Lockett and then Evan Pupo scored on a wild pitch.
Foxpro tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth inning and looked to get out of the seventh inning with a one, two, three inning. But as they say in baseball, the hardest outs are the final three outs and Spike Island was not going to go away quietly.
With two outs, the Pirates went on a tear as Nathan Gustkey singled in Zac Tiracorda. Frazel then singled in Gustkey. Ryan Whitehead kept it going with a single up the middle bringing home Jeremy Whitehead.
Foxpro was forced to make the switch as Austin Dunlap was unable to finish the game off and decided to bring in Kearns to close the game out which Kearns ultimately did as he caught Capparelle looking to put the game on ice.
Foxpro was led by the Pupo brothers with Jaxson going 2-for-2 with a home run and a double and collected three RBIs. Meanwhile Evan was 3-for-3 with a double and had three runs scored. Lockett also went 3-for-3 and scored twice.
For Spike Island, they were led by Kitko who went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run. Gustkey and also had multi-hit games at the plate with each also collecting an RBI. In fact, the Pirates had six RBIs were from six different players.
Connor Cherry pitched six innings for the Predators and collected six strikeouts and three walks. Dunlap pitched two-third innings with a strikeouts and a walk each before Kearns came on and scored a strikeout in his third of an inning.
On the flip side, Frazel was called upon to start for the Pirates and pitched three and two-third innings with three strikeouts and three walks. Bubba Slogosky went the next two and a third innings and got a strikeout and two walks before Carson Jones pitched the final inning for Spike Island.
The series is now tied at one apiece and game three will be on Tuesday over at Philipsburg-Osceola High School at 6 p.m.
By: Joshua Yoder