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Kelley hurls Blue Devils to victory over West Branch

The Bellwood-Antis baseball team threw a monkey wrench into any ideas the West Branch Warriors had about sneaking into the vicinity of first place in the MAC Division 4 race with a 6-2 victory at Bellwood’s Stadium Drive diamond.
It would seem Mount Union holds the upper hand in grabbing the title and the Blue Devils’ sophomore lefty Earnie Kelley dispelled any hopes West Branch had with a route-going four-hitter and his teammates backed him up with a five-spot in the third inning.
West Branch, who downed B-A 10-2 earlier in the season at West Branch, took an early 2-0 advantage on an unearned tally in the first inning and catcher Dylan Viehdorfer’s solo home run in the top of the third.
For most of the season, the Blue Devils have gotten through the first couple innings, only to have the wheels fall off in the third or fourth inning.
On Monday, against a West Branch squad that was 11-3 overall coming in, it was Bellwood-Antis that batted around in the third frame to put five runs on the scoreboard and put the hurt on the Warriors.
Kelley started the festivities by banging a double to the power alley in right center. Tyler McClellan made in it back-to-back two-baggers to score Kelley ahead of a walk to Josh Kleinfelter. Andy Brisbin replaced Kleinfelter on the bases with a fielder’s choice, sending McClellan to third base. Fred Dorman’s single up the middle drove in McClellan to knot the score 2-2.
But the Blue Devils weren’t done yet. Chris Alley lined a shot just inside the third base line for a double that scored Brisbin with a 3-2 lead, and sent Dorman to third. Kyle Drost grounded to the Warrior second baseman, who threw the ball away enabling Dorman to score. Troy Brunner then capped the scoring by lifting a sacrifice fly to left that got Alley home for a 5-2 B-A lead.
It would be all Kelley would need. Although Earnie needed 54 pitches to get out of the first two innings, he would throw just 48 more pitches over the final five innings, retiring 15 of the final 17 West Branch batters, with the only two baserunners the result of harmless errors in the fourth and fifth innings.
The Blue Devils added one more insurance tally in the bottom of the fourth. McClellan, who had three hits in four trips to the plate, including a double singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
“We played a great game today,” recounted Bellwood-Antis head coach Steve Conlon. “It all starts with pitching every game, and defense. Earnie threw one heck of a game, the best we have had pitched all year and the defense played well behind him. Plus we had some kids come through with some clutch hits. We were able to get on track, that’s two in a row and hopefully we can finish the year strong.”
Bellwood-Antis, 4-12, but hoping to be a spoiler to the rest of the teams on the schedule after their first two-game win streak of the year, hosts Bishop Guilfoyle on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. BG defeated Bellwood-Antis 13-3 in six innings the first time around.
Bellwood-Antis 6 West Branch 2
West Branch – Little, cf, 4-0-1; Moslak, 3b, 2-1-0; Luzier, ss, 3-0-0; Viehdorfer, c, 4-1-1; Peters, lf, 3-0-1; Gaines, p, 0-0-0; Shive, dh, 2-0-0; Hubler, 1b, 3-0-0; Christensen, rf, 3-0-0; Quick, 2b, 3-0-1. TOTALS 27-2-4.
Bellwood-Antis – McClellan, 1b, 4-2-3; Kleinfelter, lf, 2-0-0; Brisbin, 2b, 4-1-0; Dorman, c, 2-0-1; Jst. Manning, cr, 0-1-0; Alley, 3b, 3-1-2; Drost, ss, 3-0-1; DeArmitt, cf, 0-0-0; Brunner, dh, 1-0-0; Beech, rf, 2-0-0; Seidel, rf, 1-0-0; Kelley, p, 2-1-1, Jak. Manning, cr, 0-0-0. TOTALS 24-6-8.
West Branch 101 000 0 2-4-1.
Bellwood-Antis 005 100 X 6-8-3.
2B: McClellan, Alley, Kelley.
HR: Viehdorfer.
RBI Viehdorfer, McClellan, Dorman, Alley, Brunner.
SO: Gaines 5, Husted 5, Kelley 5.
BB: Gaines 2, Husted 3, Kelley 2.
WP: Kelley LP: Gaines.