PREP BASEBALL J-Milton upends Reserve in ICL
Matt Pirko scattered four hits and the Bluejays rolled to an 8-2 win.
NORTH JACKSON -- Behind the pitching of Matt Pirko and the hitting of Adam Keck and Matt Nagy, the Jackson-Milton High baseball team defeated Inter-County league rival Western Reserve 8-2 Friday, snapping the Blue Devils' six game winning streak.
Jackson Milton (5-5, 4-2 ICL) broke open a 2-2 tie with a four-run fifth inning and put the game away with two more runs in the sixth. Nagy had singles, driving in four runs, in both innings, while Keck, who had a two-run triple in the first and a run scoring double in the fifth, went 3-for-3 with an intentional walk.
"Matt [Nagy] has been swinging the bat well all season while Adam [Keck] is coming back from the flu," said Jackson-Milton coach Tim Niles. "He struggled the other day against South Range but I think he is getting his swing back."
Pirko allowed just four hits, two of them singles by Nick Lude, in winning his third straight game. He had just three strikeouts but recorded 12 groundball outs and the Bluejays' outfield had just one putout.
"Matt has been getting stronger as the season goes along," said Niles. "He used his curveball to keep them off balance, and was able to spot his fastball well."
Keck starts Bluejays rolling
Keck's two-out triple to right center in the bottom of the first inning gave Jackson-Milton a 2-0 lead, which it held until the third.
Lude singled for the Blue Devils' first hit of the game to start the third inning, and after a forceout and a walk, Brock Christie doubled to left, scoring two runs and tying the game.
In the fifth, Zack Kosa led off for the Bluejays with a single, his second hit of the day. Following a sacrifice bunt by Bart McGee, Matt Shields singled to score the go-ahead run. Steve Bowles was then hit by a pitch, and a run scored on Keck's double, and two more crossed on Nagy's hit.
Following the third inning Pirko allowed just three more Western Reserve batters to reach base over the last four innings.
Zatchok suffers loss
Jeff Zatchok (2-2) took the loss for the Blue Devils (9-3, 4-2). He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits. He had four strikeouts.
"Today Jackson hit the ball and fielded the ball and we didn't and that was the difference in the game," said Western Reserve coach Paul Henderson.
"It has been fun so far, although not today, but we have to shake it off for a big one on Monday with South Range."
Niles lamented a couple of games he believes the Bluejays should have won but didn't.
"We should be 5-1 in the ICL," he said.
"We gave one away the other day to South Range and struggled against Springfield in our other loss. I am looking forward to the second time around [the league schedule]."