By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- Kyle Leitzel's birthday wasn't going so well for a bit Friday afternoon.
The right-hander had settled in after struggling in the first inning against Danville in a Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I matchup, but Leitzel and the Braves still trailed by two runs heading into the fifth.
That's because Shikellamy's offense stranded six runners through the first four innings without scoring.
Finally, though, it all came together for Leitzel and the Braves in the fifth inning, turning it into a pretty nice birthday for the Braves junior.
Leitzel didn't allow a hit after the third inning and the Shikellamy offense exploded for 10 runs while sending 15 hitters to the plate in the fifth of a 10-2 victory over the Ironmen, the Braves' third consecutive win.
"They were getting anxious in (the dugout), saying 'C'mon! We're leaving too many men on base!' They settled down, though," Shikellamy coach Bobby Felmy said. "I told them (after the game) we could have given up, we could have taken our cleats off and gotten back on the bus, but we didn't. We battled."
The first two times through the Shikellamy lineup, Danville starter Tyler Fisher had a hard time keeping the top of the Braves order off the bases.
In the first, Leitzel beat out an infield single and Nick Dunn had a single. A wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out, but Fisher got the next two hitters to get out of the jam without a run.
In the third with one out, Colby Lahr singled, Dunn reached on an error, and a walk loaded the bases. Again Fisher escaped, this time with a strikeout and a fly out, keeping Shikellamy (8-5, 6-3 HAC-I) scoreless.