PREP BASEBALL Homer finishes Fitch win
Standout relief pitching from Connell, Brogley also key in 8-7 win over Poland.
AUSTINTOWN -- Fresh off big conference wins Tuesday, the Austintown Fitch and Poland high school baseball teams got together for a thrilling nonconference matchup Wednesday.
Dave DiYorio hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and Fitch got outstanding relief pitching from Tim Connell and Matt Brogley as the Falcons held off the Bulldogs 8-7.
Fitch (7-2) had to rally from deficits of three and two runs.
Connell (1-0) relieved Fitch starter Mike Camacci to pick up the win and Brogley pitched 12/3 innings to earn his second save in as many days.
"We've had to battle back several times this year," Fitch coach Wally Ford said. "We've been fortunate that we've been able to come through in these kinds of games."
Poland takes 3-0 lead
Poland (6-5) scored three runs off Camacci in the first inning on three hits, including an RBI double by Tom Clayton and some shaky defense by the Falcons.
The Falcons, though, were able to get back in the game against Poland sophomore Lou Coppola (0-2) by scoring four runs in two innings on just one hit.
Fitch scored in the second inning when Mo Hassan led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout and scored when a strikeout and wild pitch forced a throw by the catcher to first that sailed down the right-field line.
The Falcons took the lead in the third inning on two errors and an RBI single by Charlie Olenych. John Mang drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and Hassan's groundout gave Fitch a 4-3 lead.
Poland got to Camacci in the fourth when the Bulldogs loaded the bases with a single and two walks. Connell came in and was greeted by a two-run double by Adam Wigley. A wind-blown infield single by Clayton later scored Wigley before Connell settled things down.
Getting the green light
In the bottom of the sixth, after a single by Olenych and a walk to Hassan, DiYorio got a green-light signal on a 3-0 count and hit a fastball into the wind and over the left-field fence.
"Dave got a good pitch to hit and sat on that fastball," Ford said. "You have to give good hitters the go-ahead on 3-0, and Dave stepped it up and came up big."
Poland coach Rich Murray said playing Fitch at this point in the year wasn't a distraction.
"You just want to play baseball when you can," Murray said. "It doesn't matter who you play rather that you play as much as you can.
"We didn't do a good job on defense," Murray added. "Coppola didn't give up many hits but we didn't get the job done in the field."
Clayton led Poland with three hits and two RBIs while Dom Marchionda had two singles.
Olenych and DiYorio each had two hits for the Falcons.