By Curtis Pulliam
Brandon Schlimm would be the first to admit he didn’t have his full arsenal working.
“I was struggling with my off-speed stuff,” Schlimm said.
Little did that matter as Schilmm and the Ohio Glaciers cruised into the Class B league championship series with a pair of 6-2 victories on Saturday over the Astro Falcons in the playoff semifinals at Cene Park.
Schlimm, who will be attending St. Bonaventure in the fall, went all seven innings in the second game allowing two runs on four hits and struck out three.
“We just pounded them with a lot of fastballs,” said Schlimm, who graduated from Elk County, Pa., Catholic High. “We got a lot of infield plays and lots of fly balls.”
Glaciers manager Don Pletcher knew what Schlimm’s strengths were coming in to the game.
“Fastballs,” Pletcher said. “Brandon’s a power pitcher, 88-89. They are a great fundamental team and going in we felt we had to keep the leadoff batters off, it didn’t matter what inning.”
Pletcher was extremely pleased with his team’s effort as a whole on the evening.
“Oh, [heck] we knocked off the two-time defending champs,” Pletcher said. “You can’t feel any better than that. We did it in a good fashion too.”
The Glaciers scored first in the second game, with an RBI single by Ben Vey in the bottom of the second inning.
The Astros answered with a run of their own in the top of third. Catcher Hunter Snyder led off the frame with a bloop single to right field. After a bunt single and a double play, Snyder came home on a wild pitch thrown by Schlimm to tie the game at 1-1.
“Tonight, like I said, my off-speed stuff was really bad,” Schlimm said. “I kept trying to work on it but it wasn’t coming through for me so I stuck to my fastball.”
After Schlimm gave up the run in the third, he mowed down the Astros in the next three innings before giving up a run in the seventh.
Offensively, the Glaciers took over in the fourth, scoring four runs on three hits and two walks by Falcons starter Charles Donachie. Donachie gave up six runs on nine hits, striking out five. He also walked three.
The big blow came on Heath Hildreth’s two-run double to put the Glaciers up 5-1.
Third baseman Zack Miller contributed two hits and an RBI while left-fielder Scott Pierce added a hit and a run for the Glaciers.
Falcons manager Andy Timko knew the story of the game was his team’s offense or lack thereof.
“Didn’t hit,” Timko said. “Same story we had all year. If you can’t score any runs then it is tough to win ball games.”
Between the two games, the Glaciers only allowed nine hits to the Astros, something Pletcher was happy with.
“We played some ball tonight,” Pletcher said. “We hit, great pitching behind Matt Gordon and Brandon Schlimm, with no errors in two games. That’s a recipe for some good baseball.”
The Glaciers will take on Creekside Fitness in the first game of the league championship series starting today at 7 p.m. at Cene Park.