Flyers fall short of upset bid to Minford

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2001

Friday, March 30, 2001

MINFORD – The St. Joe Flyers came sooooo close. A heavy underdog, the Flyers just missed pulling off a major upset Thursday as they fell 5-4 in nine innings to the Minford Falcons.

"I’m proud of the kids. They’re smart and they do what’s asked of them. We had great pitching and played good defense. We just need to hit the ball a little bit better," St. Joe coach Kyle McKnight said. "Minford beat Wheelersburg the day before and they have a nice team. There were a couple of scouts in the stands watching their shortstop."

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St. Joe threatened to pull off the upset thanks to the combined pitching of Rusty Yaniko and Danny Stack.

Yaniko went the first seven innings. He struck out 10, walked four, and gave up four runs. Stack struck out two, walked two, and allowed one hit.

"Rusty did an excellent job. He really pitched a heck of a game. He mixed his pitches well. And Danny did a good job, too. He just got a couple of bad breaks," McKnight said.

Minford took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but the Flyers rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth.

Stack walked, Yaniko singled, and, after a double steal, Chris Laber had a two-run single. Chris Carte reached on a fielder’s choice, stole third and scored on a wild pitch.

After Minford tied the game in the bottom of the inning, St. Joe came back to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh.

Malone singled, moved up on fielder’s choice, and then stole third and home.

Minford responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to force extra innings. A double, a sacrifice, and an infield roller just beyond the second baseman.

The Falcons won the game in the ninth on a walk, a passed ball, a deep fly out to center, and a bloop single against the drawn-in infield.

"Danny Stack threw a great pitch and jammed the kid, but the batter barely dumped the ball on the outfield grass. If we don’t have to bring the infield up, we make that catch. It was just one of those things," said McKnight.

St. Joe, 1-2, hosts Portsmouth East at Coal Grove Friday.