Steelies stop Invaders

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Erie Steelheads 17U Prospects bounced back from a tough loss Thursday with a 9-2 win over Invaders Baseball 17U at the University of Lynchburg Friday.

Warren’s Ryan Rafalski picked up the win on the mound and McDowell’s Luke Jackson drove in three runs to pace the offense. Rafalski also drove in a run and fellow Dragon Nick Hussey scored for the Steelies.

The Steelies struck early as they picked up a pair of runs in the first inning. Matt Shepard (McDowell) tripled in Casey Smith (Harbor Creek) and scored on Cody Smith’s (Harbor Creek) sac fly.

Rafalski walked with the bases loaded in the second to push the lead to 3-0. Shepard hit a grounder to short that scored Aidan Kelly (Harbor Creek) and Cameron Williamson (Harbor Creek) came around on an error on the play to put Erie up 5-0.

The Invaders took advantage of an error in the bottom of the inning to get on the board.

In the fourth, Cody Smith drew a bases loaded walk with one out and Jackson followed with a 3-run double to make it 9-1.

The Invaders picked up another run in the home half of the inning, but Rafalski and Casey Smith didn’t allow another run.

Rafalski gave up two runs, one earned, on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out five. Casey Smith came in and struck out both batters he faced to pick up the save.

The Steelies move to 3-1 in the Commonwealth Classic and will take on Canes North Showcase 17U at 12:20 p.m. at Washington & Lee University.