There’s more than one way to win a baseball game.
The Martella’s Pharmacy bats were relatively quiet against First Commonwealth Bank on Tuesday night at Roxbury Park, but the league leaders still got the job done, pushing four unearned runs across the plate for a 4-0 AAABA League victory. Martella’s became the first team to 20 wins this season and now sports a 20-2 record.
“The last three or four games we really haven’t been swinging the bat well,” said Martella’s manager Chris Pfeil. “We haven’t been hitting well when we’ve had the counts in our favor, but today we were able to execute our small game. Nate (Negri) got a nice sacrifice bunt down and forced them to make a tough play and they threw it away. In this wooden bat league, that’s how you win games. When you get guys on third base, you have to take the unselfish approach and get the ball in play to score them.”
While Martella’s was limited to just five hits, two were for extra bases. Tony Strasiser had a double and Dillon Boyer pounded out a triple, scoring on an errant throw by First Commonwealth.
“I was just trying hit the ball up the middle,” Boyer said. “It was a fast ball he threw me.”
Martella’s also got a strong performance on the plate from left-hander Tim Mulvey, who gave up just two hits in six innings of work with two strikeouts and one walk.
“Tim Mulvey was just as effective as he could be,” Pfeil said. “He just went out there and hit his spots and mixed up his fast ball and his off-speed stuff well and kept them guessing most of the game.”
Martella’s put three runs on the board in the third inning on no hits.
Nemo Trexler walked and went to second when Boyer was hit by a pitch from First Commonwealth starter Chris Horton. A throwing error on a ground ball by Nate Negri allowed Trexler to score and moved Boyer to third. A pair of ground outs plated Boyer and Negri for a 3-0 Martella’s lead.
“Coach always tells us to keep the ball in play and make them field it,” Boyer said. “That’s how we manufacture runs, make them field it.”
With one out in the second, First Commonwealth’s Luke Trotz doubled to left and went to third on a Spencer Price single.
Mulvey was able to get the final two outs to end the scoring threat.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, First Commonwealth got another double from Trotz, who moved to third on Price’s single. Martella’s reliever Brad Coleman got Nate Nickel to fly out to end the game.
Trotz and Spencer, who were both 2-for-3, accounted for all of First Commonwealth’s hits.
“Jim (McMillen) has done a really good job of building First Commonwealth,” Pfeil said. “They are only a second-year team and the wins are going to come for them. He’s put some good players together and they play hard. They’ve played everybody in the league tough. They are losing some tight games, but they are going to win their share.”
There’s more than one way to win a baseball game.
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