Photos by Bob Hockenbrock
By Joshua Yoder
LEWISTOWN – The dynamic duo of Isaiah Kearns and Tristin Lockett carried the Foxpro Predators over the Lemont Ducks to complete the two game sweep during the first round of the CCBL playoffs Tuesday night over at Mifflin County High School.
Through the first four innings of the game, Both the Ducks and the Predators were neck and neck as starting pitchers Lockett and Joe Nastasi were in the mitts of a pitchers’ duel with each other allowing a single run.
The Ducks got on the scoreboard first in the top half of the fourth inning thanks to an error which allowed Tucker Triebold to score who was attempting to steal third base after he led off the inning with a double.
However, Foxpro responded in the bottom half of the frame getting behind the muscles of Kearns who tanked one deep to left on a full count to even the game at one apiece.
But it was the bottom of the fifth inning where the Predators pulled ahead for good and scored six runs in the frame. Evan Pupo got it started with an infield single that brought home Josh Rosefsky to give the Predators the lead. Kearns tapped a SAC fly to left that scored Hunter Thompson, Hayden Snook singled in Evan Pupo, while younger brother Jaxson Pupo scored on an error while Ethan Eichhorn and Snook each scored thanks to Dan Brundage and Connor Cherry to make it 7-1.
The offense continued in the bottom of the sixth inning as Kearns made his presence felt again with another missile to left for a two run home run that also brought home Evan Pupo to make it 9-1. Kearns finished the day going 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs.
“(Isaiah) Kearns was in beast mode,” Player coach Evan Pupo said.
But Lemont refused to go down quietly as in the top of the seventh where the Ducks tacked on two more runs after taking advantage of a mishap from Foxpro trying to turn a double play which allowed both Alec Lose and Max Tolchin to score. But it was as close as they managed to get as Lockett put the finishing touches to secure the victory.
Lockett went the distance for the Predators and collected eight strikeouts and five walks.
“Tristin (Lockett) was a major factor for us,” Pupo said. “He was lights out!”
For the Ducks, Nastasi went four innings and had three strikeouts and four walks before handing the ball over to Brian Egan who closed out the final two innings and had two strikeouts and a walk.
Lemont’s season will come to an end with a record of (13-5) while Foxpro will be moving on to the next round where the Predators will travel to compete against the Spike Island Pirates for a best of five series starting on Friday.