The Richland Rams (District 6) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat the Trojans 3-2 in game one of the Homer Center Classic at First Commonwealth Field.
In a game that saw solid pitching and terrific defense, both teams struggled to score runs, but the Trojans did get off to a fast start in the top of the first inning. Singles by Antonio Hauser and Josh Ulery, followed by a walk to Sam Jones loaded the bases. Brayden Mickinac then drew a walk to drive in the first Derry tally, and then Ryan Hood added an RBI ground out for a 2-0 lead.
Richland would score a run in the home half of the third inning, but Nick Detore would work out of further trouble and finish the day going 4 2/3 innings allowing just one earned run and striking out two. Ryan Bushey would come on to get a big out to end the fifth and keep it a 2-1 game.
The Trojans missed out on a couple of big opportunities to add on to their lead, and Richland struck for two runs in their final at bat. A leadoff walk followed by a sacrifice bunt. A bloop single to right field drive in the tying run as the runner moved to second on the play at the plate. Senior Josh Stem then lined a single to left for the game winner.
Senior Seth Coleman, a UPJ recruit was the starter for the Rams and received a no decision. He struck out six while walking 4 and gave up four hits. The winning pitcher was Ethan Janidlo, who pitched two scoreless inning’s of relief.
The Trojans will play game two at 1:00 tomorrow against either the host team Homer Center or Claysburg Kimmel. They will square off at 10:30.