Matt McGee and Mike Vonada each belted three hits as seventh-seeded Blanchard slugged its way past second-seeded Howard 16-11 in the opening round of the Centre County League Baseball playoffs on Sunday.
The Bees, 5-19 during the regular season, pounded out 16 hits, scored in every inning and took advantage of five errors in taking the lead in the best-of-three series against the Hawks, who were 17-7 in the regular season. Game 2 is 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Blanchard.
Blanchard trailed 5-4 before a wild fourth inning. The Bees took the lead with five runs. McGee and Vonada keyed the outburst with RBI singles.
Howard bounced back with six runs in the bottom of the inning. Cole Long and Evan Gettig each smacked two-run singles, while Scott Zuback added a RBI single in the inning.
The Bees rebounded and took the lead for good with three runs in the fifth. McGee singled home a run, while the other two scored via an RBI groundout from Josh Bechdel and an error.
After a run in the sixth, Blanchard tacked on three more insurance runs in the seventh. Chad Todd stroked a RBI single before Zach Rote capped the scoring with a two-run single.
Nick McGee, Larry Bechdel, Ethan McGill and Rote each had two hits for Blanchard. Vonada earned the win on the mound.
Kyle Womer belted a solo homer and added a double for the Hawks. Dan Cole, Zuback, Gettig and Long also had two hits each.