DuBOIS — A two-out, two-run single by Joe Lopez in the top of the seventh lifted Brookville to a 3-2 victory over Pulaski in Game 1 of the Federation League championship series at Stern Field Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Grays were held scoreless into the sixth inning by Pulaski starter Phil Myers, before breaking through with a run in the sixth to get within a run. Brookville then plated a pair in the seventh to secure the come-from-behind win.
Pulaski, the second seed in the playoffs, jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first with a pair of unearned runs.
After a groundout started the frame, Myers helped his own cause by driving a triple into the right-field corner.
Adam Bankovich then hit a grounder to third, as Myers was forced to hold up on the play, but a low throw skipped past first base allowing Myers to score and Bankovich to reach second where he was replaced by courtesy runner Hunter Antonuccio
Jake Miknis followed with a groundout to third, as Antonuccio moved up to third on the throw across the diamond.
Corey Bookhamer then came through with a big two-out hit, singling into right field to bring home Antonuccio for the second run of the inning.
Ryan Pasternak followed with a single of his own to right field to put two runners on board before Brookville starter Sam Leadbetter got out of the inning with a strikeout.
The next couple innings were then dominated by the two side’s starting pitchers, as each faced the minimum in the second and third innings.
Leadbetter did allow a one-out single to Bankovich in the third, but he was thrown out by catcher Chase Palmer on an attempted steal of second.
The Generals looked to add to their lead in the fourth and fifth innings, as both frame saw them put two runners aboard, but they were unable to bring in a run as they took a 2-0 lead to the sixth.
In the fourth, Pasternak reached on a one-out walk as Jackson Frank followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second.
Leadbetter then ended the threat by forcing a fly out to shallow right field and a groundout to second.
In the fifth Pulaski looked to get things done with two outs, as Bankovich started the rally with a single to right before being replaced once again by Antonuccio at first.
Miknis then ripped a single into right center field as Antonuccio hustled to third on the play and Miknis was able to beat out the throw from third to move up to second on the hit.
The Generals once again stranded two runners on base when a groundout to first ended the inning.
On the other side, the Grays were unable to get anything going against Myers in the first five innings as they had just three runners reach base on two hits and a walk.
Tanner LaBenne represented two of those three base runners, as he reached on a two-out walk in the first and recorded Brookville’s first hit with a one-out single in the fourth.
The Grays’ other baserunner came in the top of the fifth when Thomas Plummer reached on a two-out infield single to the right side.
Brookville then began to solve Myers in the sixth inning, as Dan Ion led off with a single to center field.
After Lopez grounded out to third to move Ion up to second, LaBenne recorded his second hit of the game, singling into left-center field to plate Ion and cut the deficit in half, as LaBenne was thrown out attempting to stretch his single into a double.
Leadbetter then retired the side in order in the home half of the sixth as Pulaski took a 2-1 lead into the seventh.
After a strikeout started the Grays’ half of the seventh, Joe Culler got the rally started with a single to right before being replaced by pinch runner Kane McCall.
Plummer then came just short of a two-run homer to left, hitting a pitch off the fence for a double to put runners at second and third with still just one out.
Leadbetter then reached on a walk to load the bases, but Myers responded by striking out the following batter as Brookville found itself down to its last out.
Lopez then came through with the big hit, singling into left-center to score McCall for the tying as Plummer beat the throw home to score the go-ahead run.
Dustin Daihl then reached on a walk to load the bases again, but Myers was able to limit the damage by forcing the following batter to fly out to center.
After a pair of groundouts started the bottom of the seventh for the Generals, Myers took a full-count pitch off the plate to reach on a two-out walk.
With Bankovich at the plate, Leadbetter’s first pitch was off the mark as Brookville then turned to Lopez on the mound.
Bankovich eventually worked a walk before Miknis drew a third straight walk to load the bases for Bookhammer with the tying run at third and winning run at second.
Lopez then closed out the win by getting Bookhammer to hit a routine ground ball to second as the Grays took the first game of the series on the road.
The teams are back in action for Game 2 Saturday at Brookville’s McKinley Field at 5 p.m.
Due to a scheduling conflict, Game 3 will not be played Sunday at 2 p.m. and will instead by played Monday at 6 p.m. back in DuBois.