BROOKVILLE — Rallying from a 4-2 deficit going into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Brookville Blue Sox scored six runs in their final two at-bats to rally for an 8-4 win over SW Jack of Indiana in the first game of their best-of-three Indiana County League Junior Legion semifinal series.
The top seed after going 17-4 during the regular season, the Blue Sox now travel to Homer City Wednesday to face SW Jack looking to clinch the series and advance to the finals. A third game, if necessary, is scheduled for Thursday at McKinley Field.
The Blue Sox rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth, all coming after two outs. Hunter Roney walked and scored on Bryce Rafferty’s single. Walks to Danny Lauer and Jamison Rhoades set up Owen Caylor’s two-run single to give the Blue Sox a 6-4 lead.
Brookville added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on Rafferty’s two-run double with the bases loaded.
The Blue Sox had six hits and worked three SW Jack pitchers for 10 walks. Rafferty went 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Geer added a double.
Geer doubled and scored on Griffin Ruhlman’s one-out single in the first inning. Rhoades led off the second with a walk and scored when Bay Harper reached on a two-out infield error.
But SW Jack scored four unanswered runs, three in the second inning and one in the fifth to take its 4-2 lead.
Four Blue Sox pitchers combined for the win as Roney went the first three. Rafferty, Geer and Harper went a combined four innings of relief without giving up a hit and just one unearned run while striking out six and walking four. Geer, the third pitcher, got the win with his 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief, striking out four and walking two.
The Blue Sox-SW Jack winner faces either Punxsutawney or Kovacik Insurance of Blairsville in the best-of-three finals which would start Thursday or Friday depending on how each series finishes and/or the weather.
Blairsville edged Punxsutawney, 5-4, in their opener also on Tuesday in Blairsville.
In last week’s games:
FRIDAY, July 5
Blue Sox 9,
In another comeback win at McKinley Field, the Blue Sox rallied from an 8-7 deficit with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Armstrong in their regular-season finale.
Griffin Ruhlman’s one-out doubled scored Hunter Geer to tie the game at 8-8, then Bryce Rafferty’s single drove in Ruhlman for the one-run lead.
Rafferty, the fourth Blue Sox pitcher, earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief to finish things out. Ryan Geer, Danny Lauer and Owen Caylor also saw time on the mound.
Hunter Roney, Jamison Rhoades and Rafferty each had two hits. Rhoades and Ruhlman doubled. Ruhlman scored three runs and Rafferty knocked in three.
WEDNESDAY, July 3
SW Jack 6, Blue Sox 4
Also at McKinley Field, the visiting Drillers ended the Blue Sox’s 13-game winning streak dating back to the Drillers’ 5-0 win over the Blue Sox in Indiana back on May 24.
SW Jack jumped out to a 6-0 lead before holding off the Blue Sox, who scored a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth inning. In the fourth, Hunter Geer doubled and scored on Bay Harper’s single. Geer singled in a run in the fifth and Harper singled in two more, but that’s as close as the Blue Sox got.
Geer and Harper had five of the team’s six hits, Harper with three hits and Geer with two.
Harper took the loss, going six innings and allowing six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Four Blue Sox errors led to four unearned runs.
SENIOR LEGION PLAYOFFS STARTING — The Punxsutawney Post 62 Senior American Legion baseball team got started in the Jefferson County League playoffs Tuesday against Curwensville.
Punxsutawney, which has Brookville players on its roster, earned the top seed with a 10-2 regular-season record. Curwensville beat Marion Center in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed matchup on Monday.
Then on Tuesday, Post 62 routed Curwensville 11-0 in five innings and No. 3 seed DuBois beat No. 2 seed Clearfield, 5-4, setting up Thursday’s DuBois at Punxsutawney winners’ bracket finals game.
Seth Dunkle, Tanner LaBenne and Cole LaBenne each hit singles.
The losers’ bracket final goes Saturday. The finals are Sunday with the “if necessary” game scheduled for Monday.
In last Tuesday’s regular-season finale, Post 62 blanked Marion Center 12-0 in five innings. Dunkle singled twice and scored two runs. Tanner LaBenne, Chase Palmer and Cole LaBenne also hit singles.