DuBOIS — The Federation League playoffs got off to a little bit of a surprise on Tuesday evening as No. 6 Kersey defeated the top-seeded DuBois Rockets, 4-3, in nine innings at Showers’ Field.
In another surprise, the Kings went to Joe Beimel to start on the mound. Beimel, a left-handed pitcher who spent nearly 20 years in professional baseball, announced his retirement last month. Beimel was playing with the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League.
Beimel, who was wearing a full Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, tossed five innings in the game. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out five. Beimel had two stints in Pittsburgh, making his Major League debut with the Pirates in 2001. He stayed with the Pirates until 2003, and came back for a second stint in 2011.
With the win, Kersey took Game 1 of the best-of-5 series, which shifts to Kersey for Game 2 this evening at 6 p.m.
The Rockets were up 3-2 in the top of the seventh with starting pitcher Dom Kriner still on the mound. Kriner allowed a leadoff bunt single to Brandon Sicheri, and Sicheri took second base after the ball got away.
After a strikeout for the first out, Kriner hit Hayden Tettis.
The DuBois catcher tried to get Tettis at first on a snap throw, but the throw was off the mark and Sicheri scooted up to third on the play. Dan Singer then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Sicheri to tie the game.
Justin Beimel was called on in relief for Joe Beimel in the bottom of the sixth, and the Rockets had trouble getting anything going against the reliever.
Sean Sleigh reached on an error in the bottom of the sixth, but didn’t make it to second base. DuBois was also set down in order in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
DuBois went to John White in relief of Kriner. White started off his outing with a four-pitch walk to Rudy Gleixner.
After a wild pitch moved Gleixner to second, Brad Dippold put down a sacrifice bunt, which moved Gleixner to third base with one out.
White got the next two batters to both pop up in the infield to get out of the inning.
Justin Beimel allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth, but didn’t allow any other baserunners.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Kersey’s Vincent Jacob crushed a triple down the right field line. With the infield then drawn in, Kings pinch-hitter Nate Beimel then laced a single up the middle to score Jacob for the go-ahead run.
Justin Beimel set DuBois down in order to end the game.
DuBois got themselves out of the inning in the top of the first in a slick way as center fielder Garrett Brown caught a flyout and fired the ball into third base as third baseman Matt Zimmerman got the tag on Jacob for a double play.
DuBois started the game in a big way off Joe Beimel. Brown started the rally with a walk and stole second base. After a flyout to right field that put Brown at third, Sean Zimmerman singled through the left side for the game’s first run.
After another flyout, Sean Sleigh launched a double that one-hopped the left field fence, allowing Sean Zimmerman to score from first to give DuBois a 2-0 lead. Sleigh was thrown out at third trying to advance on the play.
Kersey had baserunners in each of the next two innings as Michael Beimel reached on an error to lead off in the second, and Jacob hit a two-out single in the third. Both made it to second base, but didn’t get a chance to score.
In the top of the fifth, Kersey knotted the game back up. With one out, Joe Beimel and Tim Beimel each had singles. Sicheri followed that up with a triple down the right field line to score both runs.
DuBois then elected to intentionally walk Jacob. Tettis followed with a bouncer back to the mound. Kriner fired the ball home, which got Sicheri in a rundown, with him eventually being out at home.
The inning ended with a flyout to keep the game at 2-2.
It didn’t take long for the Rockets to re-take the lead. Derek Clark got a one-out single to start off a rally. After a strikeout, Brown singled to put runners at first and second. Matt Zimmerman then followed with a base hit, which scored Justin Orlowski, who was courtesy running for Clark. The RBI single gave DuBois a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Michael Beimel led off by reaching on an error, but was erased off the basepaths as Kriner picked him off first.
After another flyout, Brad Dippold singled and Joe Beimel walked to put runners at first and second, but Kriner got out of the frame with a groundout.
Sean Sleigh reached on an error in the bottom of the sixth, but there was no further damage done for DuBois, which set up the top of the seventh.
After Game 2 this evening in Kersey, Game 3 will be back at Showers’ Field on Thursday at 6 p.m. If the games are necessary, Game 4 would be back in Kersey on Saturday at 5 p.m., and Game 5 would be on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Showers’ Field.