By DAN HINER
A three-run first inning was the difference in Park Home’s 4-1 win over Baird Brothers in the National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series.
Baird Brothers had opportunities to score during the game but couldn’t come up with a clutch hit. Baird Brothers left 11 runners on base, seven in scoring position.
Park Home starting pitcher Casey Sheetz pitched a complete game. Sheetz allowed six hits and a walk while striking out one batter.
Baird Brothers head coach Don Pletcher said Sheetz deserved credit and hit players needed to be more patient at the plate.
“It wasn’t tough, we didn’t have patience,” Pletcher said. “I think in one inning we swung at four first pitches. We swung in 2-0 counts. We just didn’t have a smart game. It was strictly that.
“It wasn’t a good baseball game and we didn’t play our kind of baseball. We weren’t patient, we didn’t have good at-bats and we had a bad approach,” Pletcher added. ”We didn’t work the count. I think the kid threw a complete game against…70 pitches. And we can’t let that happen.”
Park Home jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after Owen Kravetz and John Gority reached base on a walk and a single. Kravetz scored on a one-out double down the right field line by Jake Plunket to take a 1-0 lead.
Gority scored in the next at-bat on an RBI single to center field by third baseman Ian Yon, and Plunket later scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-0 in the first.
Baird Brothers’ left fielder Max Harpilini reached base in the bottom of the third on a one-out walk. After a stolen base and a wild pitch, Harpilini scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by third baseman Josh Kieffer to cut the lead to 3-1.
But Park Home responded in the top of the third.
Kravetz began the inning with a leadoff walk and stole second base in the next at-bat. Kravetz scored two batters later on an RBI single by Yon to center field to extend the lead to 4-1.
Yon finished the game 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a double.
Baird Brothers’ starter Mike Turner pitched 3.0 innings and allowed four runs on six hits and two walks. Turner also struck out four.
Travis Perry relieved Turner in the top of the fourth inning. Perry pitched two scoreless innings—allowing one hit, one walk and struck out three.
Dom Bucko pitched the final two innings. Bucko didn’t allow a run but gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two.
“This game meant nothing. We played everybody,” Pletcher said. “Kids got to play their positions and have a little fun, and you know, go out that way.”
After Saturday, Baird Brothers is 1-3 in the first four games of the World Series.
“It was a tough weekend,” Pletcher said. We had four legitimate teams in our bracket and it was tough baseball. We went after it all weekend, and it was one of those weekends, and we didn’t get it.”