DuBOIS — The two best words in sports: Game 7.
Tuesday’s Game 7, a Federation League semifinal contest between Brookville and DuBois at Stern Field, certainly didn’t disappoint as the Grays held off a late-game rally by the Rockets to secure a 3-1 victory to reach the championship series.
After knocking out DuBois, the top seed in the five-team league, Brookville now earns a date with second-seeded Pulaski in the best-of-7 finals beginning Thursday.
The Rockets got the potential game-winning run on base in the bottom of the seventh as they loaded the bases with just one away.
The inning started with nine hole hitter Noah Bloom driving a single through the left side to break up a no-hit bid by Grays starting pitcher Thomas Plummer.
The single proved to be DuBois’ lone hit of the day, as it also chases Plummer from the game as Brookville turned to Kane McCall on the mound.
McCall got the first batter he faced to fly out to center field for the first out of the inning, but the Rockets quickly loaded the bases when Thayne Morgan was hit by a pitch and Nate Sabados drew a walk.
That brought cleanup hitter Matt Zimmerman to the plate with the tying run on second and the winning run at first.
Zimmerman then hit a hard grounder back to McCall on the mound, who fired to catcher Chase Palmer at home for the force out.
Palmer then turned and threw a strike to Tanner LaBenne at first to complete the game-ending 1-2-3 double play to send the Grays to the championship series with a 3-1 win.
After both teams were held scoreless in the first inning, Brookville got production from the bottom of its order to score the game’s first run in the top of the second.
After a strikeout started the inning, Plummer singled to left as he was replaced by courtesy runner McCall at first.
Brady Caylor followed by singling to left before Dan Ion drove a grounder just inside the third base bag for a single to bring home McCall.
Sam Leadbetter followed with a fourth consecutive single to load the bases, but DuBois starter Brandon Orisch was able to limit the damage by forcing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The bottom of the order got things done for the Grays once again in the fourth inning as they added a run to their lead.
It was Plummer once again helping his own cause with a one-out infield single to the left side as he was yet again replaced at first by McCall at first.
Caylor and Ion then added their second hits of the day as well, both hitting singles to left to load the bases.
Leadbetter then hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field to bring home McCall and double the Grays lead.
DuBois was able to manufacture a run without a hit in the bottom of the fifth to trim the deficit back to one.
Bloom led the inning off by drawing a walk, as Garrett Brown followed with a walk before Thayne Morgan advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt.
Sabados followed with a groundout to second to bring home Bloom for the Rockets’ first run of the game.
Zimmerman then reached on a walk before moving to second on a fielder’s indifference to put runners on second and third with two away.
Sean Zimmerman followed with what looked to be a single into the gap that would have likely plated both runners to give DuBois the lead.
Instead, Grays center fielder Dustin Daihl ran the ball down into the gap and made a diving catch to end the inning and preserve the one-run lead.
The game remained 2-1 into the seventh inning before Brookville was able to add an unearned insurance run.
Ion led the inning off with a double to shallow left field as the ball skipped off the turf and over the head of the left fielder.
After a groundout to third and a strikeout, Joe Lopez came through with a two-out RBI, singling through the right side to bring home Ion to give the Grays a two-run lead.
The Rockets then looked to rally in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with one away before a 1-2-3 double play put an end to any hopes of a comeback.
Brookville will now take on Pulaski in Game 1 of the championship series Thursday at Showers Field at 6 p.m.