Peake BMW leaned on Corey Gaconi when it needed him most, and he came through — just like the team knew he would.
Brother Martin-based Peake BMW defeated Archbishop Shaw-based Refuel 4-0 on Sunday behind Gaconi’s dominant pitching performance in the American Legion southeast regional tournament at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
“We have the utmost confidence in (Gaconi),” coach Mark Wisniewski said. “He got himself in a jam a couple of times with runners on first and second with nobody out, but he made the pitches when they counted.”
Gaconi pitched eight innings and allowed no runs and eight hits while striking out eight.
Peake BMW advanced to face Hahnville-based Otto Candies at 7 p.m. Monday at Kirsch-Rooney. Refuel plays Jesuit-based Retif Oil in an elimination game at 3:15.
Peake BMW struck early, scoring the game’s only runs in the first two innings. That included a two-run triple from center fielder Luke Bernard in the second.
“We didn’t need to score that many runs today, so offense came at a premium,” Bernard said. “It just feels good to get that hit and push the team forward.”
Refuel pitcher Jared Giambelluca was impressive as well — pitching 6.2 innings and allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) with 10 strikeouts — but his team was unable to give him any run support.
Refuel coach Kirk Bullinger was thrown out of the game during the bottom of the fourth inning when he came out to argue after a Peake BMW runner was allowed to advance from second to third base on an obstruction call after a throw to second. As a result, Bullinger will not be allowed to coach Refuel’s game Monday.
In the second inning, Peake BMW’s Michael Kirsch added an RBI single to Bernard’s big hit to make it 4-0.
Peake BMW broke through in the first inning by taking advantage of an errant throw trying to catch Kyler Johnston stealing third base.