BRIMFIELD _ Field pitcher Jason McBroom was on target Monday.
McBroom escaped early-inning problems and cruised the rest of the way, striking out 15 Crestwood batters and leading the Falcons to a 6-1 win over the Red Devils in the Portage County League American Division opener for both teams.
The win improved the Falcons to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in PCL American play. It also gave them a quick upper-hand on the Red Devils who, along with Southeast, are considered the favorites in the division.
"They (Crestwood) are certainly an outstanding ballclub, and that added to the impressiveness of the pitching performance," said Field coach Larry Wiles. "We knew they were an outstanding hitting team. This had to be (McBroom's) best performance, especially considering the caliber of the opposition."
Crestwood (5-2, 0-1) touched up McBroom, a reliever and spot-starter a year ago as a sophomore, for a run in the first inning on a passed ball, and then had runners on second and third with one out in the second.
However, McBroom slammed the door by fanning Shaun Parsons and Wally Froelich. Crestwood managed only two more hits over the final five innings.
"We had our chance early. We had him (McBroom) on the ropes," said Crestwood coach Bob Merritt. "The mistake we made was letting him get off the hook. One more hit early and it could have been a completely different ballgame.
"But we let him stay in it and, as he got in his groove, he just became more and more dominant and we were just unable to put the ball in play."
The Falcons' offense, meanwhile, did most of its damage in the bottom of the third, rallying for four runs off Crestwood starter Josh Hunter.
The first two Field batters reached safely via a two-base error and a single by Jeff Trout. Trout then stole second, putting two runners in scoring position.
Joey Peterson followed with a groundout to Parsons at third. The throw to the plate was late, allowing Field's Aaron Embacher to score the Falcons' first run and Peterson to reach first.
Field catcher Chris Meranto moved Trout and Peterson over one base with a bunt, setting the table for Dustin Leek, who drilled a two-run double to right-center to break the tie. One out later, Otis Smith powered a double off the right-field fence, driving in Leek with the fourth run of the inning.
Bill Davis had a double and single for the Red Devils.