If Dick's Pharmacy continues to get the kind of pitching it has gotten the last two nights, the George B. Kelley Federation championship series could be a short one.
One day after Cam Kyle pitched a one-hitter to close out Park Furniture in the semifinals, Matt Frederick tossed a two-hitter to lead Dick's past ReMax Realty, 7-1, in Game 1 of the best-of-five finals Saturday night at Vets Field.
The right-hander struck out nine, using both his curveball and fastball to keep the ReMax hitters off balance.
"Pitching says it all. Our pitchers have been clutch all year, and we've gotten hits at the right time," Dick's coach Pat Yon said. "One game does not make a series, though. We can't afford any letdowns. ReMax is a darn good team."
Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Vets Field.
Andy Scalice broke a close game open in the fifth with a three-run home run. The right-handed hitting catcher drove a 3-2 fastball well over the left-field fence.
"I was looking for something right down the middle, and that's what I got," Scalice said. "I knew it was gone as soon as I hit it."
ReMax pitcher Zach Price kept his team close through four innings but lost command of his pitches in the fifth. With one out, Price walked back-to-back batters on eight straight balls before the Scalice homer.
"That really hurt us," ReMax coach Brian Mercer said.
Price retired seven straight at one point early in the game and had surrendered just two unearned runs through four innings before tiring in the fifth.
Kenny Dalto's double in the third brought home ReMax's lone run. Mac Watson reached on a hit batsman, and courtesy runner Adam Hershey scored on Dalto's double, tying the game at 1-1.
"[Frederick] did a heck of a job. He threw all his pitches well," Mercer said. "Our bats really fell silent."
Dick's reclaimed the lead for good in the fourth inning with an unearned run. Frederick reached on an error by third baseman Nate Sanders to lead off the inning. Taylor Yon's single to right scored Ethan Adams, who was running for Frederick.
Dick's added on in the sixth when Josh Frederick knocked in two with a single, and Matt Frederick closed out the win with back-to-back strikeouts.
"Game one is critical in any playoff series," Yon said. "Momentum can change at any moment, and we want to do anything we can to make sure that doesn't happen."
Scalice helped stake Dick's to an early 1-0 lead. With one out in the bottom of the first, he singled and came around to score when left fielder Trevor Bush misplayed a fly ball that had he caught it would have ended the inning.
REMAX REALTY (1): Dalto cf 301, Albright 2b 300, Bush lf 200, Abram 1b 300, Sanders 3b 300, Frederick rf 301, Price p 300, Watson c 200, Hershey cr 010, Robertson ss 200. Totals - 24 1 2.
DICK'S PHARMACY (7): Lytle lf 310, Scalice c 322, Kyle 2b 300, M. Frederick p 300, Adams cr 010, Clancy ss 201, Yon 1b 301, Adams pr 010, Morgan rf 311, Wolfe 3b 000, J. Frederick dh 301, Oswalt cf 210. Totals -25 7 6.
SCORE BY INNINGS
ReMax Realty001 000 0-1 2 2
Dick's Pharmacy100 132 x-7 6 1
E-Bush, Sanders, Clancy. 2B-Dalto. HR - Scalice. RBI-Dalto, Yon, Scalice 3, J. Frederick 2. WP-M. Frederick. LP-Price. SO-Price 3, M. Frederick 9. BB-Price 3, M. Frederick 1.
Dick's Pharmacy leads series, 1-0.