By Frank Foreman
July 24, 2013 5:45 p.m. ALBION —
A solid outing by French Creek Valley pitcher Jacob Digiacomo and clutch hits throughout the lineup keyed a 9-4 victory over Fox Township Wednesday afternoon in the Region 8 Tournament.
The win keeps FCV’s state hopes alive, as they will take on the winner of the Wilcox vs. Milcreek contest currently in progress.
With a 1-0 lead, FCV’s Ryan Paden came through in the clutch in the bottom of the third inning with a two-RBI double that nearly cleared the right-center field fence to make it 3-0.
One batter later, Brandon Sherman laced an RBI single to score Paden from second to push French Creek Valley ahead 4-0.
After FCV made it 5-0 on a Digiacomo steal and errant throw by Fox Township catcher Brandon Vollmer, Fox Township climbed back into the game and took a chunk out of the FCV lead.
Fox Township loaded the bases in the top half of the sixth inning with two outs when Justin Beimel snuck a grounder through the left side of the infield to score a pair of runs, cutting the lead to 5-3 in favor of French Creek Valley.
But with the game hanging in the balance, Digiacomo closed the door on the rally, settling down after reloading the bases to get out of the jam, stranding three Fox Township runners.
“When you can avoid that big inning, it’s big,” French Creek Valley manager Brandon Crum said. “He labored out there and got out of the jam. He keeps getting better every time out there, and those rough patches he finds himself in, he manages to get out of them every time.”
The FCV lineup picked up its starter and responded with a three-run bottom of the sixth, as Cole Baker smashed an RBI double that scored Chase Gallo, followed by a two-RBI single by Luke Carter to make it 8-2, and give FCV a more than comfortable lead.
Each time FCV needed a big hit, someone came through, and that aggressive approach at the plate included each player in the lineup.
“We had very timely hitting. I felt the entire offense was aggressive,” Crum said. “We were really aggressive today, and the sky is the limit if we continue to be aggressive.”
French Creek Valley started the scoring in the bottom of the first when a double steal allowed Mitch Wood to score from third base.
Cole Baker, Wood, Carter and Sherman all had multi-hit games, while Carter and Paden both drove in two runs each.
Digiacomo pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and five strikeouts. Scott Sada came on in relief and pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on one hit and two strikeouts.