Gernatts wins East Lake Baseball title
Gernatts defeated Southwestern 8-7, and South Dayton 6-2 on June 30 at Jamestown's Diethrick Park to claim the 2012 title.
In the opening game that began at noon, Southwestern led 4 to 1 after three innings. Carter Benton started on the mound, pitched well against the regular season champions, giving up four hits while striking out three. Joe Kruszka came on in relief in the bottom of the fourth and Southwestern quickly scored three more runs to take what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.
Gernatts also made several key defensive plays, including two running catches by Jon McCarthy in center field and a clutch throw by first baseman Matt Christopher to stay within reach. Sure enough, the green and gold closed the gap to 7-4 after six innings. Trailing by one run with one out in the top of the seventh, Josh Balzer's single sent Matt Kruszka and Benton home to knot the score at 7-7. Joe Kruszka had also settled down on the mound and never surrendered a run after the fourth inning.
In the top of the eighth, Matt Kruszka's two-out double brought McCarthy home for the go-ahead run. The Gernatts team defense stiffened in the bottom of the eighth and sent a stunned Southwestern team back to Lakewood.
Gernatts had a long delay before the championship game as South Dayton needed nine innings to defeat Falconer. When the first pitch was thrown to decide the champion, it was almost 7:30 p.m.
Neither team could mount a rally in the title game until the third inning. Gernatts' first two batters (McCarthy and Joe Kruszka) reached base safely. Matt Kruszka broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single. Benton followed that up with a two-run single. With two outs, Kyle Farner laced a ball into the outfield that brought in two more runs and Gernatts quickly led 5-0.
South Dayton came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third but never threatened the rest of the way. Gernatt's Shane DeLeo pitched an outstanding game. He went the distance and only allowed four hits.
Gernatts finished the season as champions with an overall record of 12-3.