Riverview Drops A Close One To Port Charlotte
Three was the magic number for Port Charlotte on Wednesday night, as the team overcame a one-run deficit entering the fifth inning to take down Riverview by a 4-2 final score. While the Pirates’ offense had struggled through the first four frames against Rams starter Stephen Wilmer, something changed when Chuck Antczak made the move to the bullpen.
With Wilmer, who had struck out six Pirates and threw 60 percent of his pitches for strikes, off the mound for good, Matt Ithiar took advantage and lined a single to right field. After Tim Smith reached on an error, Ithiar tied the game by scoring on a wild pitch that let Smith move to third base. Smith later scored on a passed ball, giving the Pirates a lead they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the night. Run number four was driven in by Matt Lepart, who singled and brought teammate Kevin Conway, who’d walked earlier in the frame, home to score.
Starting for the Pirates and being the direct benefactor of the fifth-inning rally was Devin Rack, who struck out four and only allowed two runs in the win. Throwing 60 percent of his 78 pitches for strikes, Rack started most of his at-bats off on the right foot, recording first-pitch strikes against 15 of 27 Riverview hitters. Matt Courbu earned the save for the Pirates with a scoreless seventh inning and also induced a strikeout.
The Rams’ two runs came in the third inning when teammates Kevin Szafran and Alex Risimic had consecutive sacrifice RBI outs, with Szafran driving Patrick Diaz in with a groundout and Risimic hitting a sac fly to bring Spencer Wiseman — the courtesy runner for Wilmer — home and up the lead to 2-1.