DuBOIS — The Brookville Grays used another dominant pitcher performance and a big day at the plate from Dustin Daihl to upend Pulaski, 2-0, Monday at Showers Field to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Federation League championship series.
Brookville came in off a 3-0 win in Game 2 Saturday, a contest that saw Joe Lopez throw a two-hit shutout for the Grays. Teammate Kane McCall matched that performance Monday, as he tossed the second straight two-hit shutout. And, both those hits were infield singles.
McCall struck out five while walking two and hitting three batters. The effort was McCall’s third complete-game victory in the Fed League playoffs, and he has allowed three hits or less in an all three.
Daihl provided all the offense McCall needed as he went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, RBI and run scored. Brookville finished with seven hits overall, with Chase Palmer joining Daihl in having two hits in the win.
Brookville can capture its first Federation League title in a decade when it hosts the Generals in Game 4 this evening at McKinley Field at 6 p.m. The Grays last won the Fed League crown in 2009, which was the team’s second straight title.
Monday’s matchup proved to be another pitchers’ duel, which was become a common theme in the Fed League playoffs this summer.
Pulaski starter Braden Blair and McCall each threw 1-2-3 first innings before both teams had runners in the second.
Brookville’s Nate Bonfardine was hit by a pitch and Sam Leadbetter walked around a pair of flyouts in the top of the second before Blair struck out Chase Palmer to strand both runners.
Pulaski’s Corey Bookhamer drew a one-out walk in the bottom half of the inning, then promptly stole second. However, McCall responded with a strikeout before Lopez made a nice sliding stop at shortstop before throwing out Jackson Frank to end the inning.
Trent Corle reached third base in the third after singling but was stranded there on an inning-ending groundout.
A pair of Brookville errors opened the door for Pulaski in the bottom of the third, as a walk by Jake Miknis eventually loaded the bases with two outs. However, McCall got out of the jam when Adam Bankovich hit a chopper to Leadbetter, who stepped on third for a forceout to end the inning and keep it a scoreless game.
Brookville carried that momentum into the fourth, with Daihl blasting a leadoff triple to left-center. Bonfradine followed with a fly ball to right that plated Daihl, who dove head-first into the plate around the diving tag attempt of catcher Bankovich.
Leadbetter and palmer later singled with two outs to restart the rally, but Blair struck out Dan Ion for the final out to limit the damage to one run.
Pulaski tried to answer back in the bottom of the fourth when Frank was hit by a pitch with two outs and Shane Price followed with a walk. McCall worked out of trouble, getting Colin Read to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Brookville then added to its lead in the fifth.
Corle drew a leadoff walk, spelling the end for Blair. The lefty allowed two runs, on earned, on four hits while striking out four and walking two.
Another lefty, Corey Carr, came on in relief and quickly got two outs. A failed pickoff attempt by Carr during that sequence did help Corle to reach third before Daihl delivered a clutch two-out double to left to plate Corle to make it a 2-0 game.
Pulaski recorded its first hit in the bottom of the fifth with two outs when Miknis ripped a pitch back up the middle that deflected off McCall. The ball got far enough away that Miknis reached first safely, while a late, errant throw by McCall allowed Miknis to go to second.
The miscue didn’t hurt McCall as he got Bankovich to foul to Tanner LaBenne at first for the final out in the inning.
Carr then tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh to help keep Pulaski in the game, but the Generals just couldn’t get its offense going against McCall. Carr gave up three hits and struck out two.
Pulaski tried to start a rally with two outs in the sixth when Frank was hit for the second time and Price reached on an infield single. However, McCall closed the door when he struck out pinch-hitter Kevin Gnacinski.
McCall then retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh, with Corle making a nice running catch in the left-center field gap on a ball hit hard by Miknis for the final out of the game.