MOUNT VERNON — Fosters Pharmacy defeated Ariel by a score of 6-4 after a slow start on Thursday against Ariel at Phillips Park.
“Once they finally wake up and get out of video game land, they come alive and we’re a ball team,” said Fosters Pharmacy coach Andrew Neighbarger.
Ariel fabricated four runs on six hits in their first appearance at the plate, highlighted by Grayson Brokaw’s RBI double into left. Fosters responded as Cam Firebaugh singled and later stole home plate on a past ball. At the end of the first Ariel was sitting with a well established lead of 4-1.
Firebaugh was having a heyday on the mound recording his sixth strikeout by the top of the second. The following innings were lead by solid defensive play as both teams went scoreless in the second, and three up, three down in the third.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that Fosters found its groove, and Xander Jacobs set the mood. With bases loaded Jacobs blasted a ball into left field clearing the bases and earning himself a sliding triple to tie the ball game 4-4. Jacobs later stole home on a passed ball to give Fosters Pharmacy a 5-4 lead. Fosters scored one more additional run to give them the 6-4 advantage over Ariel heading into the fifth, which was the final inning of the game. Firebaugh proved himself ready for the moment, fanning the three batters in the fifth, securing his team the comeback win and recording 10 strikeouts on his complete game.
As for Ariel coach Bart Severns, he felt his team fell apart as the game progressed.
“We didn’t come to swing the bats, we didn’t come to play,” he said. “That’s part of baseball, you gotta play all the innings or you’re going to come out on the bottom.”
Firebaugh and Jacobs both went 2-2 on the evening leading Fosters, complimented by Ethan Franz recording a single and Gavin McFadden’s RBI.
Ariel’s Brysen Armstrong lead the team with three singles, followed by teammates Will Armstrong, Peter Russo, Caleb Rickett, Silos and Brokaw, who all poked a single on the evening.
Prior to the game former Mount Vernon standout J.D. Orr was honored by throwing the first pitch before the game. However, he did hit a grandslam … he proposed to his girlfriend Jauni Gleason with their son, Dekker, standing by just prior to his outing on the mound. She said yes, and Orr will be heading on a plane to Miami this morning as he preps for his professional career with the Marlins after being drafted this week.
Drawing for the city tournament for 12U will take place this Sunday and teams’ next games will be determined then in a double elimination bracket.