Aviators complete sweep of Mill Rats with 9-3 win

LAFAYETTE, IN – An offensive outburst by Lafayette led to the Aviators posting a 9-3 victory over the Johnstown Mill Rats on Wednesday night in Prospect League action, which finished off a two-game sweep.

The Aviators pounded out 19 hits, with all nine starters recording at least one knock. Six Lafayette players tallied multiple hits, highlighted by shortstop Jarrett Bickel’s 4-for-5 performance in the batter’s box, which included a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Mike Snyder and Eli Tencza both had three hits a piece, while Brandon Daniels, Trevor Johnson and Cade Fitzpatrick each tallied two hits. Daniels and Johnson each drove in two runs. Tencza scored three times. Snyder tripled.

Johnstown’s Pete Capobianco finished a home run short of the cycle, while tallying five of the Mill Rats’ nine hits after going 5-for-5 with a triple, a double and a run scored. Mike Whiteherse was 2-for-4 with a double. Nolan Buegeling and Justin Kapuscinski each added a hit to round out Johnstown’s offense.

Randy Carlo IV drove in two runs and Kapuscinski chipped in an RBI.

After grabbing an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Aviators scored two runs each in the third, fourth, seventh and eighth innings to keep the game out of reach. The Mill Rats got on the board in the third with a run-scoring groundout by Carlo IV, to which the Aviators answered to increase the lead to 5-1.

Later trailing 9-1 entering the top of the ninth, the Mill Rats scored two runs on a bases loaded walk by Carlo IV and an RBI single by Kapuscinski, and still had the bases full with one out. However, a double play by the next batter ended the game.

Josh Cottrill took the loss for the Mill Rats after allowing five runs on 13 hits over four innings. He struck out two batters. Gyeongju Kim claimed the win for Lafayette (5-2).

Johnstown (4-3) will make a one game stop in Chillicothe on Thursday night before coming home for a three-game series with the Paints over the weekend.