Mount Carmel hits its way past Danville

May 6—KULPMONT — So sobering was Mount Carmel's nine-inning loss at Warrior Run last week — when the Red Tornadoes stranded 12 runners on base — that Gavin Lasko and Brayden Brinkash organized a players-only workout the following day.

For a veteran team such as theirs, that has district championship aspirations, there is every reason to nip any potential concern in the bud.

"That Warrior Run loss was tough," Lasko said Monday after Mount Carmel handled Danville 8-3 at Veterans Memorial Sports Complex. "I think it humbled us. The loss definitely humbled us. We thought we were the better team, (but) obviously that day we weren't.

"Us, as a team, we came together and had a player-only practice, just to have fun and figure something out. It's obviously working. Big wins against two very good (Class 4A) schools."

The Red Tornadoes followed Thursday's group session with a win Friday at 13-win Tamaqua, which ranks third in the District 11 Class 4A power rankings. On Monday, they had the timely hits that eluded them in Turbotville to back Drew Yagodzinskie's strong outing in the win over the District 4 Class 4A-leading Ironmen.

Jonny Morgante went 4-for-4 with a pair of run-scoring singles; Lasko drove in three runs with a pair of hits; and three other Mount Carmel batters had multiple knocks in a 13-hit effort.

"We definitely changed our approaches and listened better to what we normally do," said Mount Carmel coach Brenton Eades. "At Warrior Run, we just kind of fell out of our zone a little bit. So it's just kind of a process from that game, being able to build from there. We got back on track, and it was against legit teams which was nice to see."

The Red Tornadoes (12-4) solidified their hold on the second seed in District 4 Class 3A, with a chance to catch Heartland Athletic Conference-Division III rival Hughesville (13-2) with some help. They collected runs from the start Monday, scoring in each of the first four innings for a 6-0 lead.

Morgante led off with the first of his four singles, stole second base and scored on Lasko's long double to the gap in right-center field. In the second inning, Brody Brinkash and Morgante each drove in a two-out run, then Lukas Carpenter did the same with a two-out, two-run single up the middle in the third.

Bennett Williams' leadoff single in the fourth became a six-run lead after a wild pitch and sacrifice bunt when Morgante looped an RBI single to center.

Danville (12-5) got back two runs in the fifth on run-scoring singles by Cole Duffy and Reece McCarthy. In the sixth, Lincoln Diehl doubled with one out and scored on Carter Raup's two-out hit, but the Ironmen left the bases loaded while trailing 6-3.

"You get down that big number to start, we showed some fight to get back in it a little bit and had a chance to put up a big number there," said Danville coach Devin Knorr. "We didn't quite shove enough across when we threatened there in the sixth, but you have to give credit to their team. They had more big ABs, and they had a pitcher that was on in the early part of the game and kept us at bay."

Yagodzinskie pitched around singles in the first, third and fourth innings to string together four scoreless frames. He struck out six batters in that span, throwing first-pitch strikes to the first 11 Ironmen he faced.

"This game he was dialed-in from jump," said Eades. "You know, it doesn't matter who you are. When you see a kid throwing his stuff at this level, and he's dialed-in from the jump, he's going to keep you in games and you're going to have a shot to win."

The junior right-hander, who touched 90 mph on Mount Carmel's radar device, labored a bit in the fifth as he approached the 100-pitch limit. He walked eight-hole hitter Garrett Hoffman before allowing consecutive singles to Carter Raup and Cole Duffy. His eighth strikeout gave him a chance to finish the frame, but UMass commit Reece McCarthy chased him with an RBI single, his second hit of the game.

Yagodzinskie finished at 94 pitches, including 68 strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 21 Ironmen he faced, and didn't work a three-ball count until the fifth inning when he had five.

"No one in the league's able to hit him," said Lasko, a four-year starter at catcher who is committed to play at Alfred State. "He had one really bad outing against Hughesville, which he had a lot of walks, and that's unlike him.

"It's great to see him when he's pitching great because I don't believe anyone in the league will beat him when he's doing it."

Yagodzinskie improved to 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA this season, his 56 strikeouts and 22 walks coming in a team-high 32 innings. Opponents have a .179 batting average against him, and Danville's six hits were the most against him in seven starts.

"We had a hunch we were going to see their best, and when you face a top-shelf, premium arm like he is, sometimes you press a little bit early and take yourself out of some ABs. I think we did that early," said Knorr. "He was dialed-in today. There's no doubt."



Danville;000;021;0 — 3-8-1

Mount Carmel;122;102;x — 8-13-1

Cole Duffy, James Ciccarelli (3) and Jack Gibson. Drew Yagodzinskie, Lukas Carpenter (5), Noah Shimko (7) and Gavin Lasko.

WP: Yagodzinskie. LP: Duffy.

Danville: Duffy 1-for-3, RBI; Matt Acor 1-for-2; Reece McCarthy 2-for-3; Lincoln Diehl 1-for-4, double, run; Garrett Hoffman 1-for-2, run; Carter Raup 2-for-2, run, RBI.

Mount Carmel: Jonny Morgante 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Brayden Brinkash 1-for-4; Hunter Boblick run; Lasko 2-for-3, double, 3 RBIs; Yagodzinskie 2-for-4; Max Karycki run; Clarke Cartwright run; Carpenter 2-for-3, run, 2 RBIs; Bennett Williams 2-for-3, 2 runs; Brody Brinkash RBI.