Philipsburg could taste a berth in the championship series of the Centre County Baseball League playoffs almost as soon as its game began.
The Pirates scored three first-inning runs to help them earn a 5-3 victory over Pleasant Gap on Sunday, and took the best-of-five series 3-1.
Pleasant Gap pitcher Jon Romine gave up a leadoff walk, a single and another walk through the first three batters. A.J. Robsinson singled to center to plate the first run for the Pirates, who sent in two more runners off wild pitches.
The Peppers managed to score a run in the bottom of the second, but Philipsburg followed up with two more of their own on three consecutive doubles by Brandon Myers, Parker Watson and Jake Belinda. Pleasant Gap’s Tyler James hit an RBI single in the third inning to try to keep the Peppers competitive.
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Tyler Lalli came in for Romine, holding the Pirates scoreless through the last four innings while striking out six batters, but Pleasant Gap couldn’t rally behind him, scoring just one more run in the sixth inning.
Philipsburg will host Howard on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the first game of the best-of-five championship series.