LEWISTOWN - There's no question that Lewistown has enjoyed the friendly confines of Mifflin County's high school field in its Centre County League playoffs against Lemont.
Sunday in Lewistown, the Predators notched an 8-4 win over the Ducks to even the five-game series at one. But on Tuesday, back over the mountain, Lewistown fell victim in a 9-5 ballgame with Thursday's matchup an elimination bout.
In Game 2, Lewistown's Chad Batista belted a pair of home runs in the loss. The shortstop was able to match that Thursday. However, he was actually outdone by Lemont's Cory Hornyak. Hornyak hit two home runs and drove in five runs in the first two innings en route to a 16-5 bashing of Lewistown to end its season.
Sentinel photo by MATT?STRICKER
Lewistown’s Cody Heane, top, applies a tag at third base as Lemont’s Jeff Moyer slides in safely in the third inning of the Centre County League playoffs Thursday in Lewistown. The Predators lost 16-5. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
Batista's long balls were each solo shots. But Hornyak made quick work to give the Ducks a lead and keep it.
Lewistown's Ryan Keefer took the ball and the loss for the Predators. Lemont's Aaron Tressler, who picked up the win in Game 1, notched another victory by tossing four innings.
Coming off a nice final six innings against Lemont in Game 1, Keefer struggled. He hit the first batter of the game, allowed a bunt single and walked back-to-back batters. With one run across already, the bases were still chalked full of Ducks for Hornyak. The big slugger sent a ball to left that was halfway up the trees at the high school field.
In the blink of an eye, and no outs, Lemont had a 5-0 lead in the elimination game. And with Lemont's ace on the bump it seemed all but over. But that's not what Batista thought.
Tressler's first offering to Batista was a hanging breaking pitch. Batista turned and sent a deep fly over the left field fence.
After Lemont batted around in the first inning, Ben Sallade sent a one-out pitch over the right field fence in the second inning. Then, two batters later, Hornyak delivered his second big fly of the game on a first-pitch fastball from Keefer.
With the score now 7-1 in favor of the visitors, Lemont kept the bats going in the third. This time it was against Seth Wagner. The tall lefty allowed seven runs on five hits in the frame.
Lemont batted around for the second time in three innings in the third. Aided by three errors, the Ducks sent the game into panic mode for Lewistown. The score? 14-1. With no mercy rule in the CCL playoffs, the Predators at least had a chance to make a surge.
The Predators scored two in the third thanks to back-to-back ground outs by Batista and Andy Georgeson.
Wagner, after allowing his seven runs, gave way to former Husky teammate Tanner Kibe. Kibe pitched the final four frames for Lewistown and gave up only a pair of runs in the fifth.
But much to the dismay of the Predators, the bats just weren't there in Game 4. In the fifth, Jonathan Wurley picked up an RBI on a ground ball after Shawn Heckert and Jay Hartman had back-to-back hits - a single and a double, respectively.
Lewistown had only a pair of hits in the final two frames, one of which was Batista's blast to left field. That gave him four home runs in the series, all coming at Lewistown's home park.