Fitch comes from behind to conquer Campbell, 5-3
The Falcons scored four runs to take the lead after falling behind 2-0.
AUSTINTOWN -- Last year when Campbell Memorial High School played Fitch High in baseball, Campbell jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the second inning, only to see the Falcons score a school-record 15 runs in the bottom of the second frame on their way to a 19-8 victory.
Wednesday afternoon when the teams met again, Campbell scored two times in the first inning but the Falcons used a pair of solo home runs and three unearned runs to defeat Campbell 5-3.
Louie Samonas opened the game for Campbell with a single and scored the game's first run on a double to the left-center alley by Justin Vrona.
Vrona scored on Lonnie McQueen's double inside the third-base bag to give the Red Devils a 2-0 lead.
McQueen pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the inning when center fielder Nick Durkin caught John Mang's line drive at his shoetops. Durkin then was able to double off the runner from second base to end the threat.
Mike Brown opened the second inning for Fitch (4-2) with a home run to cut the lead to 2-1. Fitch then scored three times in the third inning to take the lead. Dom Modarelli reached first base on an error, and Jason Davis was also safe on a Campbell miscue. Mike Eliseo then singled to tie the score at 2-2. A single by Brown scored the go-ahead run, and a fielder's choice scored the final run of the rally.
Modarelli hit a leadoff home run in the fourth inning to increase Fitch's lead to 4-2. Durkin got that run back for the Red Devils with a solo blast in the fifth inning.
Matt Brogley pitched the first 51/3 innings for his second win. He allowed three runs on six hits. He had seven strikeouts and did not walk a batter. Diyorio earned his first save, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, and allowing two hits in the seventh.
McQueen (1-1) pitched a complete game for the Red Devils (2-2). Just two of the runs he allowed were earned, as the junior had three strikeouts and four walks.
Early in the season
"It was a good game, but you always expect that with Campbell, they are going to come out and battle," Fitch coach Wally Ford said. "It is still early and both teams were a little rusty fielding the ball, but we both hit the ball.
"Brogley did a nice job. He threw a lot of strikes and did not walk anyone, and that is a key," Ford added. "Campbell is every bit as good as the teams we see in the Federal League. They don't have the numbers but the games are always battles."
Campbell coach Wayne Zetts said, "We've just got to make the plays on defense. We don't have the explosive attack we have had in years past but if we play defense and hold the other teams down to three or four runs we will be fine.
"McQueen gave an outstanding performance, we just broke down the one inning on defense," he added. "We like playing the big boys, it gets us ready come tournament time. Wins and losses don't matter right now because we are not in a league. We tell the kids to take them one game at a time and to prepare daily."
There was some good defense in the game as Fitch catcher Chuck Olenych made two good plays on bunts to retire Campbell batters at first base.