ROSSITER — Daren Byers’ bloop single to left field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning scored pinch-runner Max London from second base and gave the Rossiter Miners a 3-2 win over the visiting Brookville Grays at Shaffer Field Tuesday night.
The Grays (7-4) were up 2-0 after Nathan Bonfardine’s two-run homer in the top of the fourth, but the Miners (4-7) tied it with two runs in the bottom of the inning when Pete Meterko singled with one out and scored on the back end of a double-steal of home rundown play. Isaac London then singled home Isaac Stouffer, who was hit by a pitch.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, Alec Greenblatt singled with one out off Grays starter Thomas Plummer. London ran for Greenblatt while Sam Leadbetter relieved Plummer. After a groundout pushed London to second, Byers lifted a pop fly to shallow left just out of the reach of a diving Aaron Park.
The Grays outhit the Miners, 5-4, as Plummer scattered three hits and three walks while striking out four.
Matthews got the win in relief of Byers, throwing the final two innings. Brady Caylor, Tanner LaBenne, Chase Palmer and Curvin Goheen hit singles for the Grays
Thursday, the Grays visit the Sykesville Senators in Reynoldsville for a 6 p.m. start. Then next Tuesday, the Grays play their final regular-season game at home against Kuntz Motors of Punxsutawney starting at 6 p.m.
Next Thursday is the final regular-season game for the Grays at the DuBois Rockets at Showers Field. That game was flipped to DuBois because their first game was also flipped to McKinley Field in Brookville back on June 14.
In other games:
SUNDAY, June 28
Grays 8, Spike Island 3
At Houtzdown, the Grays ran their winning streak to three games as pitchers Kane McCall and Joey Lopez combined on a six-hitter with 12 strikeouts.
McCall started and got the no-decision, giving up all three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks in four innings. Lopez threw the final three innings and got the win, giving up two hits while striking out seven and walking just one.
The Grays pounded out 14 hits off four different pitchers with Brady Caylor, Hunter Geer, Lopez, Nathan Bonfardine, Dan Ion and Cole LaBenne each finishing with two hits. LaBenne doubled twice while Geer and Curvin Goheen also hit doubles.
The Grays broke a 3-3 tie after four innings by scoring five runs in their final three at-bats. In the fifth, Caylor singled in a run and LaBenne, after doubling earlier, scored on Geer’s forceout grounder.
In the sixth, LaBenne delivered a two-out, two-run double. The Grays added an unearned run in the seventh to set the final.
THURSDAY, June 25
PGP Huskers 0
At McKinley Field, the oldest player in the lineup but up the biggest numbers in a huge inning.
Yes, 2-for-2, a three-run double and a grand slam homer in the bottom of the sixth alone for the Brookville Grays’ 37-year-old extra hitter Joe Culler.
Turning a close game into a 12-Run Rule Federation League rout, Culler played the lead role in the Grays’ 13-run bottom of the sixth that turned a tight 1-0 game upside down as the visiting PGP Huskers of Clearfield ran out of pitching.
Culler, a Blairsville resident and math teacher at Kiski Area, caught on with the Grays nine years ago and has played on and off with them since. He was the fifth straight batter to reach base in the bottom off the sixth off Huskers starter Hunter Dixon when he cleared the bases with his double to left-center.
Then with still just two outs and nine runs already in, he batted for a second time and walked the game off via the Mercy Rule with a home run off Blake Prestash over the left-field fence. He walked his first two at-bats.
“I always like to work a pitcher and get as many pitches I can you and just got fortunate to get what I was sitting on, made a good swing both times and we were able to get out of here with a win,” Culler said. “These guys beat us last week, so it’s good to get one on them.”
The lone run going into the bottom of the sixth came in the fourth when the Grays, who missed a chance at a bigger inning with four straight singles to start the inning, scored on Nathan Bonfardine’s one-out single.
Grays starter Brady Caylor, in his second effective outing of the year, tossed a three-hitter in his five innings, walking one and striking out one, before giving way to Sam Leadbetter in the top of the sixth.
The Huskers had runners on first and third with one out, but Leadbetter got Alan Myers to line hard to centerfielder Hunter Geer, which didn’t allow for Ty Troxell to tag from third. Then Matt Bailor lined a hard shot to shortstop Joey Lopez to end the threat.
Then the floodgates opened in the bottom of the sixth. Dixon had allowed four hits with four strikeouts and three walks through five innings, including escaping the fourth inning without bigger damage. However, it was the end of the line for him in the sixth as Geer doubled inside the first-base bag, Lopez singled him in, Dan Ion singled as did Bonfardine to load the bases for Culler’s bases-clearing double.
Tanner LaBenne doubled, chasing Dixon from the game in favor of Prestash, who walked Chase Palmer before getting Drew Celis to fly out. Jamison Rhoades singled to right to drive in LaBenne and Leadbetter walked to force in another run. Back-to-back bases loaded singles by Geer and Lopez scored two more runs before Prestash struck out Ion. A walk to Drew Beichner set up Culler’s game-ending blast