DuBOIS — The DuBois Senior League baseball team opened the first round of the Pennsylvania State Tournament as the host team at Showers’ Field in front of a big crowd on Wednesday evening.
Unfortunately for DuBois, they were never able to bunch a few hits together as Pennridge, the Section 6 champions, used three pitchers to collect a 5-0 shutout win.
With the loss, DuBois drops down into the losers’ bracket where it will await the loser between this afternoon’s 2 p.m. contest between West Scranton and Hatboro. That elimination game will be played at 4 p.m. on Friday.
Pennridge will be in action this evening against Kennett Square, which received a bye in the first round of the seven-team tournament.
Both teams worked out of jams in the first inning without suffering any damage. DuBois starting pitcher Dylan McCluskey allowed a couple walks to Carter Heller and Oliver Jervis in the top of the first, but struck out the side to leave runners at first and second.
On the other side, Jervis, the Pennridge starting pitcher, allowed three walks in the bottom of the first to Justin Swauger, Noah Bloom and Garrett Prosper. Like DuBois, Jervis worked out of it without any damage as he got a groundout to end the frame.
Pennridge put together its big inning in the top of the second. Ryan Lerro had the first hit of the game — a single to right field — before Paul Croyle was hit by a pitch with one out.
After a groundout put runners at second and third with two outs, McCluskey walked D.J. Cesario to load the bases. Heller came through on the next at-bat with a two-run single to plate Lerro and Croyle.
McCluskey allowed another walk to load the bases again, and DuBois manager Rich Petrillo elected to bring in Heath Means to pitch as McCluskey had reached the 60-pitch mark after just 1 2/3 innings.
Means started off his outing by walking Luke Faucette to bring home Cesario, which gave Pennridge a 3-0 lead. Means ended the inning with a strikeout looking on the next batter.
Pennridge chose to bring in Heller to pitch after Jervis’ one inning, and the move paid off as Heller put in four solid innings on the hill.
In his four innings, Heller allowed only two hits — a two-out single to Tyler McIntosh in the bottom of the second and a one-out double by Eric Schneider that one-hopped the left-field fence in the fourth.
Heller also didn’t walk a batter in his outing as he earned the win on the mound.
Means pitched a scoreless third inning for DuBois before handing the ball over to Anthony Kness after facing one batter in the fourth.
Kness allowed a single to put runners at first and second, but got Faucette to ground into a 5-3 double play as DuBois third baseman Noah Bloom stepped on the third base bag and threw on to first. Kness finished the inning with a groundout.
Kness also struck out the side in the fifth as he worked around a two-out walk. He also worked around a two-out single in the sixth to complete three scoreless innings for DuBois.
Pennridge brought on Jon Nase in the sixth inning after Heller reached 43 pitches on the night.
Nase walked Bloom to start the inning. McIntosh, who was a special pinch runner for Bloom, was thrown out at second trying to steal a few pitches later.
Later in the frame, Jordan Frano reached on an error, but with two outs, Nase picked off Frano to end the inning.
Bloom was called on to face two batters in the top of the seventh as he hit Josiah Smith and walked Lerro. Dayne Bauman was then brought on in relief for DuBois’ fifth pitcher of the night.
Two wild pitches during the Lerro at-bat put John Polachek, who was running for Smith, at third base. On the first batter Bauman faced, Jared Forscht chopped the ball to third base.
The DuBois third baseman fired home, but the throw was high over the catcher and went to the backstop as Polachek scored and Lerro got to third on the play.
After a strikeout, Nase hit a sacrifice fly to score Lerro, giving Pennridge its fifth and final run.
Nase got into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the seventh after back-to-back one-out singles by Kness and Keith Fatula. After a groundout moved both runners up a base, the game was ended as the Pennridge right fielder robbed McCluskey of a hit with a sliding catch to end the game.
Earlier Wednesday, West Scranton defeated Four Leaf Clover, 10-0 in five innings, while Hatboro beat Montoursville, 6-5, on a walk-off double.
In today’s action at Showers’ Field, Four Leaf Clover will play Montoursville in an elimination game to start off the day at 2 p.m. Two winners’ brackets matchups will take place at 5 and 8 p.m. as West Scranton takes on Hatboro, with Pennridge playing Kennett Square in the nightcap.