LEGION BASEBALL: Shamokin-Mount Carmel defeats Juniata County
COAL TOWNSHIP - Before Shamokin-Mount Carmel's Susquehanna Valley American Legion matchup with Juniata County Monday night at Bunker Hill, coaches Shawn Kalinoski and Rob Sopko told the team its pitching and fielding was good, but the offense needed to get going to earn a win.
The offense did, and in a big way.
Behind 17 hits, S-MC defeated Juniata County, 10-4 for its first on-field win of the season.
Shamokin-Mount Carmel was awarded a forfeit win over Catawissa earlier in the season.
Sopko felt that the bats came alive because of relieved pressure.
"We played a little more relaxed today," Sopko said. "We got a lot of pressure to win the first game and we took a lot of pressure off ourselves and just went up and played baseball."
Austin Fry, the designated hitter for pitcher Tom Campbell, led the team with four hits, including a double, driving in three runs.
S-MC broke out in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring a combined seven runs. Going into the fourth, it clung to a 3-2 lead.
However, it wasn't only hitting where S-MC excelled. Campbell only allowed four runs in six innings and threw three scoreless innings as the team built a lead over Juniata County.
"(Campbell) threw a great game. He did what he had to do," Sopko said. "He hit the strike zone, he put the ball where he needed to."
After taking an eight-run lead at the end of the fifth, Shamokin-Mount Carmel allowed two runs to Juniata in the sixth, but no more runs were scored, by either team, afterwards.
Josiah Miller and Bret Williams each had three hits for S-MC. Tyler Thompson pitched the seventh inning in relief of Campbell, allowing one hit.
After getting its first on-field win, Shamokin-Mount Carmel now faces a busy week with games on Wednesday and Friday, but Sopko believes this win will help the team moving forward.
"It's important to start the week off with a win," Sopko said, "and carry that over to the next game, now that the bats are moving."