DuBOIS — The Pulaski Generals are now one game away from eliminating the five-time defending champions of the Federation League.
Pulaski’s Nick LaBrasca hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Sykesville Senators, 6-5, on Wednesday evening at Showers’ Field.
Pulaski defeated Sykesville, 10-5, in Game 1 of the best-of-5 series on Tuesday evening. The Generals will now be looking for a sweep this evening as the series returns to the Reynoldsville Senior Little League field.
With the score tied at 5 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Generals’ Phil Myers drew a four-pitch walk against Sykesville pitcher Dan Wascovich to lead off the frame. Drew Bankovich put down a sacrifice bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat, which set up LaBrasca’s heroics as he smacked the first pitch he saw into center field as Myers scored from second base.
There were also some heroics in the bottom of the sixth inning from Pulaski. With a tie game at 3 apiece, Ty Bittner and Adam Bankovich started the inning with walks. Wascovich then got a pair of strikeouts before Nick Szczerba drilled a two-run double down the left field line to score Bittner and Bankovich, giving the Generals a 5-3 lead.
But the Senators showed their experience in the Federation League playoffs in the top of the seventh as they forced more baseball to be played.
Adam Fox drilled a double to left field off Szczerba, the Pulaski relief pitcher, before Kasey Clinton smashed a 2-1 pitch high over the left field wall for a two-run homer, which tied the game at 5-5.
Szczerba took the mound in relief of Myers, who allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out five in six solid innings.
Sykesville got on the board first in the top of the first inning. After two quick outs to start the game by Myers, Fox Clinton and Jake Felix all had consecutive singles, with Felix’s scoring Fox from second base to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
Pulaski responded with a big inning to give themselves some breathing room. Wascovich allowed singles to Jackson Frank and Myers before walking Drew Bankovich to load the bases with no outs.
LaBrasca then hit a sacrifice fly, which plated Frank for the first run.
Bittner followed with a two run double to left field, bringing home Myers and Drew Bankovich to give the Generals a 3-1 lead.
Adam Bankovich also drew a walk before Wascovich got a pair of flyouts to end the frame.
Myers wasted a two-out single by Sykesville’s Jared Baummer in the second before the Senators tied the game in the third.
Fox started off the top of the third with a base hit, but was erased off the basepaths on a fielder’s choice by Clinton. After a walk to Felix, Jonathan Weber grounded out to LaBrasca at first base to put two runners in scoring position.
Jude Lander then came through with a full count two-run single to plate Clinton and Felix, tying the game at 3.
Pulaski got a one-out base hit from Frank in the bottom of the second, but the inning was ended on a 4-6-3 double play.
In the bottom of the third, Wascovich got two quick outs before hitting Bittner with a pitch. Bittner was caught trying to steal second base to end the inning.
Jordan Weinzierl had a two-out single in the fourth, but couldn’t advance any further.
In the bottom of the fourth, Adam Bankovich led off with a single. Like Bittner, Bankovich was also thrown out at second trying to steal by Sykesville catcher Austin Blauser.
Brandon Walker also had a single in the bottom of the fourth, but couldn’t get to second.
Clinton got the top of the fifth started with a leadoff double off the center field wall, but a popout, a strikeout and a flyout got the Generals out of the frame with no damage done.
Drew Bankovich got a two-out infield single in the bottom of the fifth before Wascovich ended the inning on a popout.
Baummer also got an infield single with two outs in the top of the sixth before Myers ended his outing with a called strike three to end the top of the sixth, which set up Szczerba’s big hit in the bottom of the sixth.
First pitch for Game 3 will be at 6 p.m. this evening from Reynoldsville. If necessary, Game 4 would be on Saturday at Showers’ Field, and Game 5 would be in Reynoldsville on Sunday.