DuBOIS — The DuBois Junior League baseball team cruised to their first two wins in the District 10 Tournament last week, but had a little bit tougher time in the tournament championship game on Tuesday evening.
Still, DuBois managed to score five runs in the first inning, which proved to be enough as they defeated Johnsonburg/Kane, 8-4, in the D-10 title game at City Park.
The game was also the last game that will be played on the Junior League field at City Park this summer as the field will be undergoing construction, which started today.
“I’ve got about four or five kids here that have never won a district championship,” said DuBois manager Ken Snedden. This means a lot to them.
“It’s an honor to be with these kids.”
DuBois defeated St. Marys, 13-3, in five innings on Wednesday in the first round of the tournament before beating Punxsutawney, 16-3, on Friday.
Johnsonburg/Kane fell to Punxsy, 7-6, in their first round game, but battled back in the losers’ bracket by beating St. Marys, 6-2, and Punxsy, 9-8, in the four-team tournament.
With the tournament win, DuBois will now go to the Section 1 Tournament next week in Corry.
“We’re going to go to Corry and they have some pretty good teams up there,” said Snedden. “The more we play, the better they’re going to get.”
DuBois sent Cole Sansom to the mound once again on Tuesday evening after an outstanding performance in the first round against St. Marys.
Johnsonburg/Kane got their first run in the top of the first. Andy Jekielek started the game with a five-pitch walk. Jekielek took second base after a pickoff throw was wide of the mark.
After Sansom recorded a strikeout for the first putout of the game, Carson Whiteman launched a double down the left field line, which easily scored Jekielek.
Sansom got a pop-up and a strikeout to get out of the inning.
DuBois, known for its big innings throughout the tournament, got another one in the bottom of the first against Johnsonburg/Kane starter Cam Marciniak. Garrett Starr singled and took second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch, while Chandler Ho walked. Ho advanced to second on a catcher’s indifference.
Kolby Franklin then sent a ball into center field for a two-run single, which scored Starr and Ho. Franklin moved to second on the throw home to try to get Ho.
Chase Husted kept the rally going with a double that plated Franklin before moving to third on a wild pitch.
After a walk to Sansom, Lennon Lindholm slammed a double that one-hopped the left field fence, which brought home both Husted and Sansom.
With still nobody out, Johnsonburg/Kane got out of the frame with a fly ball and a throw home that got Lindholm in a rundown. Lindholm was tagged after a couple throws in the rundown for a double play. Marciniak also got the next batter to fly out.
Sansom allowed at least one baserunner from the second through the fifth innings, but none of them ever got past second base.
Meanwhile business also slowed down on the offensive end for DuBois, as well. Johnsonburg/Kane went to Harley Morris in relief of Marciniak in the second inning.
Morris got a three up, three down inning in the bottom of the second, but DuBois added another run in the third.
Husted singled before swiping second base and getting to third on an error by the Johnsonburg/Kane left fielder. Lindholm then lifted a sac fly to left field to bring home Husted, giving DuBois a 6-1 lead.
DuBois also added a run in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Sansom drilled a single into right field. Lindholm, Sansom’s special pinch runner, stole second base and got to third as the throw went into center field. Lindholm later scored on a wild pitch.
Johnsonburg/Kane’s Bryce Bizzak singled to lead off the top of the sixth. After Sansom got a couple groundouts that put Bizzak at third, Morris singled into right field to cut the DuBois lead to 7-2.
DuBois added on one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Colby Estrada singled and Starr walked before Ho put down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position.
Franklin then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in Estrada.
Ho came on in relief of Sansom in the top of the seventh, with Johnsonburg/Kane collecting a pair of unearned runs.
With one out and Jekielek on first, Whiteman hit a ground ball to third. The bag was uncovered at second base as the throw to second went into right field, putting runners at the corners.
Whiteman moved to second on a wild pitch before Jayden Gustafson grounded to score Jekielek.
Whiteman scored on a Bizzak two-out RBI single to set the final at 8-4. Ho got a flyout to end the game.
“As far as this game goes, you have to tip your hat to that team,” said Snedden. “We scored five on them early and they kind of shut the door.”
DuBois will play the champion out of District 1 on July 19 at 5:30 p.m. to begin Section 1 Tournament play in Corry.