The Senior American Legion ballclub spotted Lionville six runs on five hits in the first inning on a steamy day at "Doc" Kennedy Field.

However, after that dismal start, the A's righted their ship and proceeded to defeat the Hillcats, 9-7, for their second straight victory.

Phoenixville raised its record to 3-6 in the Chester County League (3-7 overall) while Lionville dropped to 2-6-1 with the tie coming against Caln.

Evan Pilcicki pitched six innings for the victory, giving up three earned runs and six hits with three strikeouts and three walks on 103 pitches. Jason Blain came on for the save with an inning of work. He yielded an unearned run with three strikeouts and three walks.

John Rowe suffered the loss for the Hillcats with 5 2/3 innings of work and 114 pitches. He allowed 12 hits and seven earned runs with four strikeouts and three walks. Brendan Ryan came to the mound from right field and registered the final out on a strikeout.

"It was a good one," said Phoenixville center fielder Mike Gatlos. "We battled and it took a lot of heart."

Gatlos, a Carpenter Cup player for Chester County, went 1-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and one run batted in from the leadoff spot in the batting order.

The Athletics rallied back from the big deficit with four runs on five hits in the second inning, two unearned runs in the third to tie the game at 6-6 and then won the contest with one in the fourth and two more in the sixth.

Catcher Huston Mattson finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, one RBI and one run. Third baseman Jesse Daywalt knocked in two runs with two singles. First baseman Jeff Fortmann went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored. Second baseman Matt Pannella tripled and singled in four trips with one RBI and one run.

Pinch hitter Jake Miller delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning.

"It was real hot for both teams," said Gatlos. "We were bothered by it, but we prepared for the heat with practice and stuff. It was just a good one.

"We tried a couple different things out (on offense). We are mixing it up. We have a pretty good lineup now that is pretty productive. We will stick with it for a while. We are hitting up and down the lineup. We are a lot stronger at the end of the lineup than we were during the school year. That is a good thing."

Kyle McKernan plated the go-ahead run with a groundout in the fourth inning that scored Fortmann, who doubled to right-center field and took third base on a wild pitch. McKernan singled and scored in the third inning.

In the sixth inning, Fortmann singled with two down and McKernan walked on four pitches. Both pinch runner Ryan Rogala and McKernan advanced a base on a wild pitch and scored on Miller's line drive to left field on a 2-0 delivery.

Gatlos doubled to right-center in the second and scored on Mattson's second straight double. In the third, Gatlos walked on four pitches, stole second base, took third on an error and scored on Daywalt's line single to right field.

"I started out the summer in a pretty bad slump," Gatlos said. "I made a lot of adjustments that had to do with my hands and stride. Reps definitely helped. I had a lot of reps. I saw a lot of different pitches."

Gatlos liked the way the A's fought back to salvage the victory.

"We started off shaky," he said. "We had pre-game jitters and weren't sure what to expect from this one. But we toughed it out. Evan Pilcicki pitched real well. He hit his spots more than other games. We had good defense on the corners that helped, too."

Phoenixville manager Jack Sturgeon was also proud of his corps.

"The comeback was nice," Sturgeon said. "We showed some maturity in games like that. We were confident six runs down. We had the feeling we could come back. Evan did a real good job. He had good stuff, settled down and pitched a real good game. We had some good defense and timely hitting in the big inning."

Lionville shortstop Chris Rugh finished 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Catcher David Ocheltree hit a two-run single in the first inning. Center fielder Jesse Taylor drove in three runs with one hit, two of them coming on a double to right field in the first inning.

NOTES ... Phoenixville is off until Thursday night when it hosts Paoli at 6 p.m. at "Doc" Kennedy Field.

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