ROSTRAVER TWP. — Jake Rathway pitched six scoreless innings to pace Belle Vernon to a 5-0 win over Farmington Monday in a Fayette County American Legion Baseball League playoff game.
The difference in the game was that Rathway, who scattered six hits, allowed five runners in the first three innings but not a run.
“Jake did a great job and has done well on the mound for us,” said Belle Vernon coach Jake Hartman. “The defense made plays behind him and had some timely hits.”
“It was tough getting the players into scoring position and then across the plate,” Farmington coach John Harim said. “They had some timely pitching, but Jeremy (Saliba) threw a good game and our defense was solid.
“The guys will be ready come Wednesday though.”
Farmington (7-10) left a runner on in the first and third, but it was the second when Rathway worked out of a bases-loaded jam.
Belle Vernon (12-6) scored the only run it would need in the third.
Jared Hartman led off the inning with a single and stole second before advancing to third on a single.
Rathway helped his own cause by driving Hartman in with a fielder’s choice ground out to short to give Belle Vernon a 1-0 lead.
The hosts extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Bob Boyer and an RBI single by Ben LaCarte.
In the sixth, Belle Vernon scored its last two runs on RBI singles by Hartman and Dave Szerszer.
John Harim looked best at the plate for Farmington, with a pair of singles, and Andrew Eckels, did the same for Belle Vernon.
Boyer threw out both runners who tried to steal on him, and also threw out a runner who tried to advance on a wild pitch.
Belle Vernon plays Connellsville on Thursday at Thomas E. Sankovich Field, while Farmington plays Wednesday against the loser of the Colonial 3 and Smithfield-Fairchance game on Tuesday. Both games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
“We lost to Connellsville by one run both times we played,” Hartman said. “It should be a good game, and we are ready for it”