Playing against their second highly-accomplished opponent in as many days, the Latrobe Jethawks proved they can win games in completely different fashions. After prevailing 12-10 in a slugfest on Sunday, Latrobe triumphed in a pitchers’ duel against Bushy Run during a Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League game played Monday. Pitcher Ethan Boring tossed six stellar innings in the Jethawks 2-1 win at Legion-Keener Park.
Boring, a recent graduate of Ligonier Valley, allowed just a lone run in the first inning, but he held Bushy Run — the reigning American Legion District 31 champion — without a run for the rest of his outing.
Boring surrendered just three hits, walking one and striking out six. He also overcame three miscues behind him, using a sharp curve ball to keep Bushy Run in check before exiting the mound just prior to reaching 100 pitches. With the win, Boring improved to 3-0, allowing just one run in 16 innings this season.
Jethawks manager Jason Bush complimented his pitcher’s performance, and his ability to utilize his entire arsenal of pitches.
“Really a couple of times there was a little bit of traffic on the bases because we made a couple of mistakes behind him, and he was able to wiggle out of it every time.,” Bush noted. “I thought that his key today was being able to throw multiple pitches for strikes really at any time in the count.”
Bushy Run (1-2) scratched across its run in the top of the first, when leadoff hitter Lucca Baccari was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a bunt, and later scored on a two-out single by Giovanni Scott, who also was strong on the rubber.
That advantage was short lived though, as the Jethawks (4-1, 6-2) scored twice in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of a defensive blunder in the process.
Scott issued a one-out walk to Boring, but then retired Vinny Amatucci. Latrobe cleanup hitter Ben Rafferty bounced a ball to short, but Baccari, who was filling in for standout Mario Disso, threw errantly to first, which allowed the inning to continue. With both Boring and Rafferty in scoring position because the throw went out of play for an advancement, Ben Anderson delivered a clutch hit to center, plating two runs.
Anderson followed the approach Bush has stressed of hunting fastballs to hit, and it paid dividends.
“He looked for a first-pitch fastball, he got it, and he drove it right through the box,” Bush detailed. “Good job by him of taking everything we work on in batting practice and computing it into the game.”
That two-out hit accounted for the last runs of the game, as both pitchers stiffened for the rest of their outings.
Boring stranded a runner in the second after an error extended the inning. In the third, he was in jeopardy after issuing a one-out free pass and a subsequent single, but he induced a fielder’s choice and recorded a strikeout to strand runners at the corners.
Boring showed more resolve in the fourth, as he allowed a leadoff single and overcame a two-out error, retiring Baccari on a flyout to end the inning. Another error provided a hurdle in the fifth, but Boring was unscathed, and concluded his evening by retiring the side in order in the sixth.
Similarly, Scott managed to escape further damage over his next four innings, including a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third.
In that inning, the Jethawks opened with consecutive singles by Boring, Amatucci, and Rafferty. Scott struck out Anderson, however, and then forced Jake Bradish to fly out to center. Although the ball initially appeared deep enough to serve as a sacrifice fly, a tremendous throw by Matt Lichota was just in time to eliminate Boring for the third out.
Scott didn’t allow a hit the next two innings, before he gave way to reliever Gavin Berardi in the sixth. He concluded his outing by surrendering five hits, and striking out six.
“We could kind of analyze a couple of at-bats and say this was a bad at-bat or that was a bad at-bat, but he was in pretty good control too,” Bush said of Scott’s performance.
Seeking an insurance tally in the bottom of the sixth, Latrobe received consecutive singles from Bradish and Knupp. However, the Jethawks were again unable to capitalize, as Short hit into a fielder’s choice, and Logan Gustafson grounded out to end the threat.
“Hitting is hard enough, we aren’t going to overanalyze it, but (the Jethawks’ hitters) know they need to do a better job,” Bush continued.
On the other side, Boring was relieved by Rafferty, who struck out the side in order to seal the victory.
In addition to Anderson’s two RBIs, Bradish led the Jethawks’ offense with a pair of singles, while Boring had a single and a walk.
Scoring consecutive wins against Hempfield East, which won the Region 7 Tournament last summer, and Bushy Run gives the Jethawks hope that this could be their year.
“Quite frankly, these (teams) both yesterday and today have been (teams) we haven’t been able to get over the hump with for a little bit,” Bush said of his team reversing the trend of recent struggles.
Latrobe’s next contest is on Wednesday, when the Jethawks welcome Young Township to Legion-Keener Park for a 6 p.m. start
Bushy Run Latrobe ab r h ab r h
Baccari 3 1 0 Petrosky 3 0 0 Berardi 2 0 0 Boring 2 1 1 Couch 3 0 1 Amatucci 3 0 1 Scott 3 0 1 Rafferty 3 1 1 DeFillippo 2 0 0 Anderson 3 0 1 T Kusinsky 1 0 0 Bradish 3 0 2 Schropp 3 0 1 Knupp 3 0 1 Lichota 3 0 0 Clair 0 0 0 Ritter 3 0 0 Dominick 0 0 0 Seice 3 0 0 Short 2 0 0 Antus 0 0 0 Gustafson 3 0 0
Totals 26 1 3 Totals 25 2 7Bushy Run 100 000 0 — 1 3 1Latrobe 200 000 x — 2 7 3 Strikeouts by: Boring-6, Rafferty-3 (L); Scott-6, Berardi-1 (BR) Base on balls by: Boring-1, Rafferty-0 (L); Scott-1, Berardi-0 (BR) Winning pitcher: Ethan Boring Losing pitcher: Giovanni Scott