STOVERSTOWN -- Game 1 of the Central Baseball League Playoff Championship Series isn't destined to be a sandlot classic.
There were too many miscues for Thursday's game to be catalogued with the all-time greats.
"By no means was it a clean game, it was a sloppy game," Stoverstown's Kyle Wildasin said of the contest that was marred by a combined seven errors. "But you just have to keep battling and keep your head up."
That's what Wildasin and his teammates did. The Tigers, trailing by two runs after 41/2 innings, rallied with six runs in their last two bats to score an 8-6 victory.
Stoverstown, the regular-season champion, took advantage of five Titans' errors to grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. Game 2
"Early on, it was brutal," Wildasin said. "We were walking guys, hitting guys, making errors in the field. It seemed like halfway through, the roles reversed, and they (Jefferson) started making mistakes."
Two of the Jefferson errors occurred in Stoverstown's sixth inning, and the Tigers capitalized on both of them. A walk followed by a fielding error and a throwing error allowed the Tigers' Zach Schuler to race home and snap a 4-4 tie.
Wildasin then stepped up and ripped his third hit of the game to score Kurt Krout with Stoverstown's sixth run. Cleanup hitter Austin Botts capped the four-run outburst by crushing a two-run homer over the fence in left-center field.
"It seems like every day there's a different person stepping up to make the big play," Wildasin said. "Botts delivered the big hit, J.W. (Besore) stepped up with a nice hit (RBI single in the third) and Zach and Kurt got on base with their speed. Their speed is huge."
Schuler was 1-for-2 and scored two runs, and Krout finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
T.J. Thomas went the distance on the mound for the winners. The
"T.J. did a super job," Stoverstown manager Tim Thoman said. "He let the defense do its work. We made some errors, but so did they, and we took advantage of them. That's the sign of a good ballclub. All year long, we've found a way to battle back."
Jefferson is a good team, too, but the Titans, who won 20 games in the regular season, sustained a defensive meltdown in Game 1.
"That's one of the worst games we've played all year," Jefferson manager Steve Gentile Sr. said. "Hats off to those guys (Stoverstown). They made the plays, and we didn't."
Gentile sported a unique look for Game 1. He dyed his white beard orange and green (Jefferson's colors).
"I said if we made the championship series, that I would break out the green and orange," he said. "It was just for one day. It didn't bring us any luck tonight."
Joe Jasinski, Colin Porter and Pat Shannon collected two hits apiece for Jefferson. Jasinski drove in three runs.
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org.