Gowanda Merchants advance in baseball playoffs
The game was played at Panther Park on Sunday, Aug. 12.
Workhorse pitcher Rick Johnson went the distance on the hill and allowed just three hits. The right-hander struck out nine opposing batters to continue his dominance in the playoffs.
Offensively, Gowanda struggled early and only crossed the plate once courtesy of Pete Mangel's run-scoring double. The Yankees countered with a run of their own to tie the Merchants heading into the fifth inning.
Gowanda then loaded the bases in the bottom half of the fifth when Shane Swan delivered the knockout punch. His double cleared the bases and put the Merchants ahead 4-1. Jeff Johnson came all the way from first base on the hit to score the fourth run. Rick Johnson then took over from there and shut the Yankees down over the final two innings.
With the win, the four-time defending champs have an overall record of 8-4-1. Their next opponent will be determined after the Braves play the Giants on Friday, Aug. 17. Depending on the outcome, Gowanda could be hosting a home a game at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19.