DuBOIS — The Elk-McKean Junior League baseball All-Stars opened the District 10 Tournament with a statement victory against DuBois Thursday — pounding out 13 hits in a 13-3, 5-inning victory at Stearn Family Field inside DuBois City Park.
The top of the Elk-McKean order did most of that damage, as the trio of Harley Norris, Camron Marciniak and Aiden Zimmerman combined to go 9-for-10 with a double, four RBIs and eight runs scored.
Each player had three hits, with Zimmerman collecting three RBIs and Norris and Marciniak each scoring three times. Ethan Wells and Dominick Allegretto also added two-run singles in the victory.
All that offense proved to be more than enough for Zimmerman, who tossed a one-hitter despite giving up three earned runs. He walked five and struck out two.
After Zimmerman retired the side in order to start the game, Elk-McKean grabbed the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the first.
Norris led off with a single but was promptly picked off first by DuBois starter Brycen Dinkfelt. Marciniak then singled to center and quickly stole second before scoring on a triple to left-center by Zimmerman. A failed pickoff attempt at third by Dinkfelt allowed Zimmerman to score to make it 2-0.
Elk-McKean added to its lead with three more runs in the second.
Kaden Dennis and Jefferson Freeburg each singled with one out before Dinkfelt cut down Dennis on a close play ay the plate on a squeeze bunt attempt by Caden Smiley.
Dinkfelt then got Norris to hit a fly ball to center that was dropped, with Freeburg and Smiley each scoring on the two-out error. Marciniak followed with a walk before Zimmerman singled to center to plate Norris with a third unearned run in the frame to put Elk-McKean up 5-0.
DuBois then used some patience at the plate in the third to get back into the game.
Dalton Yale, Matt Pyne and Derrick Burkett all drew walks off off Zimmerman around a comebacker that resulted in the first out. Austin Mitchell then drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Yale.
Luke Shugar then hit a slow grounder to second. Elk-McKean got the forceout at second, but Shugar beat the the throw to first to avoid an inning-ending double play. That proved key as not only did Pyne score, but so did Burkett as he sprinted around from second to beat the throw to the plate to make it 5-3.
That’s as close as DuBois got though as Elk-McKean broke the game wide open with a six-run bottom of the fourth while batting around the order to go up 11-3.
Norris had a run-scoring single in the inning, while Wells and Allegretto each drove in a pair of runs with hits. Pinch-hitter Luke Ely also had a RBI groundout to help extend the Elk-McKean lead to a commanding eight runs.
DuBois finally recorded its lone hit off Zimmerman in the fifth, as Matt Pyne blooped a single the other way down the left-field line to break up Zimmerman’s no-hit bid.
Pyne was stranded at first though, as Zimmerman recorded three straight outs to end the inning.
Elk-McKean then ended the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Norris got things started with a one-out infield single. He stole second and went to third on a single to right by Marciniak. Zimmerman followed with an infield single that scored Norris.
DuBois got Marciniak caught in a rundown between third and home on the play, but Marciniak eventually slid in safely to home with the run that invoked the 10-run mercy rule.
With the win, Elk-McKean advances to play at St. Marys Saturday in the winners’ bracket finals at 4 p.m. St. Marys edged Punxsutawney, 7-6, Thursday.
DuBois battles Punxsutawney in an elimination game Saturday at 4 p.m. A site had yet to be determined for that game as of press time.