CURWENSVILLE — Stopping a two-game losing streak and losses in three of their last four games, the Brookville Grays snapped back into the win column.
Thomas Plummer tossed a two-hit shutout over six innings with 11 strikeouts and just two walks before Kuntz Motors scored two unearned runs off Tanner LaBenne in the seventh in a 10-2 win Tuesday.
The Grays (5-3) and Kuntz (2-6) were able to dodge most of the rain in the area as it rained before the game and a couple of innings during it, making for sketchy playing conditions.
The Grays took advantage of five Kuntz errors and banged out 12 hits off three Curwensville pitchers. Sam Leadbetter went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. Hunter Geer and Jamison Rhoades each had two hits while driving in two runs apiece with Rhoades doubling.
The Grays host PGP Huskers Thursday, then it’s off on the road for three straight games starting Sunday against the Spike Island Pirates in Houtzdale. Next Tuesday, the Grays visit Rossiter.
In other games:
SUNDAY, June 21
Pulaski 4, Grays 2
In his first start of the Federation League season on Father’s Day, Pulaski left-hander Corey Bookhamer handcuffed the Brookville Grays at McKinley Field Sunday afternoon.
That’s four wins in a row for the 6-1 Generals, who played poorly and committed six errors in a 9-3 loss at home against the Grays back on June 11. That’s the only blemish so far for Pulaski, which rode the strong outing of Bookhamer.
Bookhamer, who had made two relief appearances including one in that 9-3 loss to start the season, mixed effectively his fastball, curve and changeup in a four-hitter. He walked just one and struck out six. Both runs in the seventh were unearned.
“I threw a lot of changeups. That’s always been my out pitch,” Bookhamer said. “That’s just the pitch I feel comfortable throwing with a little bit of downward movement. Guys pound the ball on the ground and my defense did a great job today. The ball hit up the middle and (shortstop Eric Schneider) dives, makes a play and gets a forceout and saves us. Drew (Bankovich) makes a nice play at third. Mike (Misiewicz) made a great play at second throwing across his body. So my defense bailed me out today.”
The play of the game turned out to be a bloop fly ball into the “bermuda triangle” with two outs in the top of the sixth. Phil Myers lofted one into shallow right field. Centerfielder Thomas Plummer, second baseman Drew Celis and rightfielder Hunter Geer converged. The ball was caught by Plummer, who then collided with Celis and Plummer lost the ball when he hit the ground.
All players were fine after a break in the action with Plummer getting the brunt of the collision. Jordy Frank and Dante Armanini were able to score from first and second on the play. Frank reached on her forceout grounder and after two outs, Armanini singled between a diving first baseman Tanner LaBenne and Celis at second.
“Without that collision, who knows, we could still be scoreless,” Generals manager Tom Frank said. “But that’s the way baseball is. I thought one of them had it even when they were laying on the ground. I saw something flying, but thought it was sunglasses. But then the umpire called him safe and apparently he dropped it.”
Grays starter Kane McCall allowed three hits over five scoreless innings before yielding to Tanner Klein in the sixth. The Generals scored two insurance runs in the seventh off Jamison Rhoades with Ty Bittner doubling in a run and Eric Schneider singling in the other.
The Grays got to Bookhamer in the seventh, albeit with two unearned runs. Dan Ion led off with a single, was forced out at second on Joey Lopez’s grounder and after two outs, Nathan Bonfardine doubled. LaBenne’s pop fly to shallow left was dropped by Schneider to allow both runners to score. Schneider’s diving stop of Lopez’s hard grounder up the middle three batters earlier turned out to be a huge play in denying any Grays rally.
“If the collision hadn’t occurred in the outfield, we might have won that ball game,” Grays manager Bob McCullough said. “That’s what kicked it around, but we didn’t have any hits. We only had two through the first six innings.”
THURSDAY, June 18
Huskers 8, Grays 5
At Lawrence Township Park in Clearfield, a six-run second inning helped propel the PGP Huskers to a win over the visiting Grays.
The Huskers pounded out 10 hits off Grays starter Hunter Geer and Joey Lopez. Karson Rumsky and Ty Troxell each had two hits for the Huskers, while Troxell and Ryan Gearhart knocked in two runs.
Elensky had a masterful pitching performance, allowing just one run through five innings and 65 pitches worth of work.
Trailing 8-1 going into the top of the sixth inning, the Grays got a two-run homer from Tanner LaBenne. Chase Palmer made it 8-5 and set the final score with a run-scoring single.
Geer gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings while Lopez threw the final 4 1/3 innings for the Grays.
Rich Murawski of the Clearfield Progress contributed to this story.