When Dan Plecki stated the Gifford-Flatville Giflats don't like to lose, the player/manager of the team stated the very obvious.
At 9-3 on the summer, it simply does not happen very often. With their record, even with a split with the Buckley Dutch Masters on Sunday, the Giflats are leading the league by one game. The Royal Giants, next Sunday’s opponent, are in second with a 7-3 mark.
"I am ecstatic to be 9-3 right now," Plecki said. "We have benefited from two things thus far this season. Our hitting has been very timely, and our pitching staff has simply been tremendous."
Within the first five batters, the Giflats had enough runs to win the game. With two outs, Storm Joop and Marty Mennenga both singled. The pair were both driven home by left fielder Kaleb Denault, who doubled.
"I was looking to hit something deep and see if I could keep the inning going," Mennenga said. "We came out really strong in the second game after letting the first game slip away. We played good defense and got some big hits when we needed them."
While the first inning scoring was over, they plated two more runs in the third inning and one more in the fourth. Joop opened the third inning with a double, while the next two batters were out on a pop out to center field and a strikeout, Joop would be driven home on a double by Cade Sestak. Sestak would score on a single by catcher Josh Oliveras.
"I can always trust that the guys I put on the field will compete to the best of their ability," Plecki said. "We have a ton of talent but even more heart."
The Giflats would score their final run in the fourth inning as Howard Fisher scored on an RBI double by Mennega. Fisher moved over to second when Mike Plecki walked.
"I already had two strikes on me, and I was just trying to be a hard out," Mennega said. "Finally, I got something I could drive."
Buckley scored its only run in the fourth, when Dylan Post scored on Quinten Hatfill's double to right field. Post opened the inning with a single to right-center field. He moved over on Josh Krumwiede's groundout.
"I was a bit disappointed that our guys seemed satisfied after the first game," Buckley manager Trent Eshleman said. "We did not seem to carry the energy, momentum and focus into the second game."
Game One: Buckley 6, Gifford-Flatville 3
Buckley scored three runs in the top of the 12th inning to win the extra inning game, which was extended from nine innings, when the score was tied 3-3.
Post smacked a double to center field to drive home Jake Stewart, who had tripled with one out. Post would trot home when Josh Krumwiede smacked a two-run homer over the left field fence to give Buckley a 6-3 finishing total.
"Every team in this league can beat any other team in this league," Plecki said. "We split with a very good Buckley team. They are much better than their record indicates. Buckley has several great hitters and some great pitching as well."
The Giflats scored its three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Trailing 3-0 to the Dutch Masters, Denault doubled to deep left centerfield. Dan Plecki was awarded first base after taking a curve ball off the stomach. Both Denault and Plecki scored when Matt Banaitis belted another double, this one to right field. An infield single by Mike Plecki sent Banaitis home with the Giflats final run of the game.
"We would have preferred a sweep," Eshleman said. "We can live with a split on the road against the top team in the league. We showed grit in the first game and played a complete game in every facet of the game."
Buckley is 5-7 through the first 12 games.