GUYS MILLS — It wasn’t a thing of beauty at times, but the DuBois Senior League All-Star baseball team opened the Section 1 Tournament with a convincing 10-2 win over Oil City Wednesday at Jake Boyle Memorial Field.
DuBois jumped on Oil City starter Matt Caldwell for six runs in the first two innings but then went into a lull offensively in the third and fourth innings. Oil City cut the lead to 6-2 during that stretch, but DuBois responded with a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth to win going away.
The game never really had any flow to it, as there were several long innings and long breaks between half innings. Some of that led to the choppy play at times, which was evident in DuBois’ offensive numbers.
The District 10 champs pounded out 11 hits and drew eight walks, but they also struck out 12 times — a number that led to DuBois stranding 10 runners on base. The good far outweighed the bad on the day though, with a quartet of DuBois players recording multiple hits on the day.
Justin Swauger led the way, going 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Dylan McCluskey and Noah Bloom were each 2-for-5. Bloom had two RBIs and a run, while McCluskey scored twice and knocked in another.
Eric Schneider enjoyed a 2-for-3 day, adding a RBI, three stolen bases and a run scored. Keith Fatula chipped in a hit and two RBIs, while Tyler McIntosh swipes three bases and scored three times on the day.
Swauger was one of four DuBois pitchers on the day, getting the start. He tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out one and walking three. Heath Means notched the win in relief, allowing one earned run on no hits in two innings of work. He struck out three and walked two.
DuBois now faces the Titusville/Clarion combo team this evening at 6 p.m. in the winners’ bracket finals of the three-team tourney. The winner gets a day off and earns a berth into Saturday’s title game and would have to be beaten twice by whoever comes out of the losers’ bracket.
DuBois ended up scoring all the runs it needed in the top of the first, as it pushed four runs across against Caldwell.
“They did well and came through when we needed it,” said DuBois manager Rich Petrillo. “But in All-Stars, there is never a big enough lead that you can settle down and relax with.
“My pitching got a little shaky again, but that was the first he (Swauger) pitched in All-Stars this year. Bauman came in and did well though. This is the first year where I really have a lot of kids who can pitch. We have a couple other kids we haven’t even used yet, but after a day like this, we may need all of them.
“We’re going to come back (today) and try to get the win and rest up for Saturday. That’s game plan anyway. Hopefully, it works out.”
McCluskey led off the game with a single to center, then took second and third on wild pitches as Caldwell struck out Swauger and Garrett Prosper. However, Jordan Frano pipcked up his teammates when he dumped a single into left to score McCluskey.
Frano was replaced on the bases by McIntosh before Bloom singled to right. The duo then pulled off a double steal with Anthony Kness at the plate. Kness drew a walk to load the bases before Fatula followed with a slow hit up the middle.
Bloom kept running as he rounded third on the play and collided with catcher Ty Strawbridge on a play at the plate. Bloom was ruled safe when the home plate umpire called Strawbridge for blocking home on what went down as a two-run infield for Fatula.
After Schneider walked to reload the bases, a free pass to Damon Olson forced home Kness to make it a 4-0 game.
DuBois added to its lead in the second when Bloom smacked a one-out, two-run single to right to chase home Swauger and Prosper, who had singled and walked, respectively, to open the inning.
Oil City tried to answer in the bottom of the second and loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a single. Spencer McFall’s wlak to load the bases ended Swauger’s day on the mound.
Means came on for Swauger and promptly struck out Strawbridge and Julian Brown to leave the bases loaded. Means pitched into the fourth, when Oil city finally found the scoreboard.
Means hit Lucas Lingo to open the inning, and McFall bunted special pinch runner Andrew Harris to second. Rich Petrillo pulled Means at that point in favor of Dayne Bauman.
After a wild pitch, Oil City scored a run on a groundout before Brown singled and was doubled home by Caldwell to make it 6-2.
That’s as close as Oil City got though, as Bauman and later Kness allowed just three base runners the rest of the way.
As for DuBois, it tacked on two more runs in the fifth.
Eric Schneider beat out on infield single, then stole second and third before scoring on a McCluskey infield single. McCluskey later scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-2.
Schneider added a RBI double in the sixth that scored McIntosh after he had walked and swiped two bases. Schneider later scored DuBois’ final run on a two-out error.
DuBois finished the game in style, with Prosper and McCluskey teaming up for a game-ending 3-6 double play.