HIGHLAND PARK - There were numerous Predator sightings around the Mifflin County High School baseball field Sunday.
Those were of the Lewistown Predators, of course, as the local team posted a victory over the Lemont Ducks in Central County League baseball action.
Lewistown feasted off Lemont pitching Sunday afternoon, roping 12 hits and plating eight runs en route to an 8-4 victory. The win ties the best-of-five, second-round playoff series at one game apiece, with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday in Lemont's Spring Creek Park.
Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Lewistown first baseman Josh Haines, left, attempts to tag out Lemont runner Erik Kempton after a throw from catcher Nick Eversole.
Leading the offensive charge for the Predators was Chad Batista. Batista bashed a pair of homers, a two-run effort and a solo shot in a 3-for-4 day at the plate. He also collected three RBI for the victors.
Also posting a strong offensive performance was Sean Heckert. Heckert went 3-for-3 with an RBI.
Nate Saltzer kept the Ducks in check spreading out eight hits over seven innings on the mound. Lewistown's defense came up with the big play when it needed to.
Lemont got a strong performance offensively from Ben Sallade, who homered and singled in a 2-for-4 effort.
The game was highlighted by a four-run third inning by the Predators.
Lewistown drew first blood in the first inning as leadoff hitter Andy Georgeson singled to start off the game.
However, he was doubled off when Jay Hartman's fly out was turned into a double play by the Lemont outfielders.
With two outs, Batista gave Lewistown a little toe-out lightning as he kept the inning going with a single into left field.
Ryan Keefer blasted an RBI double that hit the gap in right-center field, scoring Batista on the play.
But Lemont came battling back in the top of the second when Kevron Kempton roped a two-out RBI single, tying the game.
Again in the bottom of the second the Predators came out swinging, starting with Tanner Kibe. Kibe showed much patience at the plate walking to first. Cody Heane hustled out an infield chopper, putting runners on first and second.
Saltzer added help to his cause, moving both runners up a base on a picture perfect sacrifice bunt.
Heckert was up to the challenge as he brought in Kibe on an RBI single.
However, the Lemont defense stiffened, allowing only one run to cross the plate in the inning.
Lemont tied the game for the second time in the top of the third, setting the stage for the Lewistown part of the inning.
With the game tied at two, the Predators brought nine batters to the plate, rallying for four runs.
Hartman got the inning started with a single to right, setting the stage for Batista. Batista took just two pitches before sending a blast way over the right-center field fence, plating himself and Hartman and extended the Predator lead.
With one out, Abner Druckenmiller got the rally going once again, singling off Ty Sunday. Kibe continued his show of patience, walking for the second consecutive time. Saltzer came to the plate with two outs and drove in Druckenmiller and Kibe, putting Lewistown in the driver's seat at 6-2.
Lemont cut the lead in the top of the fourth on an RBI by Erik Kempton. The two teams traded runs in the fifth while Lewistown added an insurance run in the sixth.
From there, the Predators sent the side down in order in the top of the seventh, securing the victory.