DuBOIS — Penn State DuBois took the lead early and never looked back on its way to a 7-1 victory over Southern Maine Community College on the opening day of the USCAA Small College World Series at Showers Field Monday night.
The Lions jumped on the Seawolves in the bottom of the first inning with five runs, before adding a pair in the third to take a 7-0 lead.
Southern Maine’s lone run came in the fifth inning by way of a solo home run, as DuBois now moves into the winners bracket with the opening victory.
“It was huge, you can’t get in the loser’s bracket out of the gate,” Penn State DuBois head coach Tom Calliari said. “You get in that loser’s bracket out of the gate and you’ve just created an extra three or four games and you’re chewing up many arms.”
The Seawolves, who will now face elimination today, looked to take the early lead in the top of the first when Peter Stauber reached on a one-out single to right-center.
DuBois starting pitcher Brandon Orsich quickly ended the threat by forcing Stefan Lesco to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to bring the Lions to the plate for the first time on the night.
After Southern Maine starting pitcher Dylan Francouer retired the Lions’ lead off batter, the next six batters all reached base with one out on the way to the big inning.
Lance Pennington reached on a walk to get thing started, as Isaac Stouffer was then hit by a pitch to put two runners aboard.
Vince McDowell followed with a single to center field to bring home Pennington for the game’s first run.
Clayton Butler then followed with an at-bat that led to controversy, as he drove a pitch down the right-field line that appeared to sail over the shorter fence in foul territory.
Instead, the ball was ruled fair, resulting in a three-run home run for Butler to give the Lions a 4-0 lead.
Brandon Gettig followed by reaching on a walk and later scored the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to left field off the bat of Joey Dipietro.
“The energy levels and momentum had a big shift,” Calliari said. “That was a very good pitcher they have and jumping on them early I think took them (Southern Maine) by surprise a little bit.”
In the third, Toner Corl reached on a one-out walk before Francouer struck out the following batter for the second out of the frame.
Trevor Hanna kept the inning alive by drawing a two-out walk, then Garrett Brown drove a pitch into the right-field corner for a two-run triple to give the home side a seven run advantage.
On the other side, Orsich dominated in the early going, facing the minimum over the first three innings, as he allowed a one-out single in the second and forced the following batter to ground into a double play for the second time in as many innings.
Orsich went 6 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing one run on five hits and no walks while striking out five to pick up the win.
“Brandon (Orsich) has been our guy all year, we got him a lot of big game situations,” Calliari said. “He will always give you a chance and he got snubbed as an All-American, being 9-0 and Pitcher of the Year in our conference.
“He came out and proved to everybody why he shouldn’t have been snubbed and I’m very proud of Brandon.”
In the fifth, Junior Nunez got Southern Maine onto the board with a home run onto the deck in left field, which proved to be the final run of the game.
“I’m still not satisfied with the way we finished, we scored five in the first then kinda put it on cruise control which we can’t do as we advance in this tournament,” Calliari said.
The head coach added that he was glad his team was able to get the win, but feels they have a lot to work on moving into their next game and the rest of the tournament.
Penn State DuBois will now face the winner of No. 2 Cincinnati-Clermont and No. 7 Bryant & Stratton today at 6:30 p.m.
Southern Maine will take on Bluefield State in an elimination game today at 1:30 p.m.