DuBOIS — Strong pitching performances from Phil Myers and Noah Schneider coupled with late-game success at the plate lifted Pulaski to a 4-0 victory over the visiting Spike Island Pirates at Stern Family Field Thursday.
The win was the sixth in a row for the Generals (8-1), who remain atop the league standings after handing DuBois its first loss of the season Tuesday night.
“It seemed like a mirror image of our last game where we started slow and finally we got enough to win and that’s all that really matters,” Pulaski assistant manager Brad Bittner said. “It’s obviously nice to be on the top of the standings and we hope to stay there until the playoffs.”
Thursday’s matchup got underway with Pulaski starting pitcher Myers facing Spike Island leadoff batter Parker White, but after just four pitches the game came to a halt.
Lightning in the area forced the players to clear the field and fans to exit the stadium, as a severe thunderstorm covered Stern Field with hail.
After a 45-minute delay, and some diligent hail clearing by both teams, the game was able to start back up, as Myers needed just one pitch to retire White on a groundout to short.
The Pirates looked to get on the board with a two-out rally, as Michael Kitko lined a single into right-center before Ryan Whitehead singled to right, but Myers got out of the jam by striking Tommy Stephens out looking on a full-count pitch.
The Generals first opportunity to plate a run came in the home half of the second, as Adam Bankovich led off with a single through the left side before Braden Paulinellie hit a one-out single to right to put runners on the corners.
Schneider followed by ripping a pitch right at third baseman Michael Kephart, who then dove to third base to get his glove on the bag before courtesy runner Cole Kriner was able to dive back to the bag to complete the unassisted double play.
Spike Island got a runner in scoring position in the third with two away as White stole second, but he was then picked off by Myers to end the inning.
The visitors had another prime scoring opportunity hindered by a pickoff in the fifth inning, as Stephens led off by reaching on an infield single as he was replaced at first by Ben Gustkey.
Gustkey was then picked off by Myers at first before Kephart drew a walk and Jeremy Whitehead hit a bloop single to center which would have at the very least loaded the bases with nobody out.
Myers then worked his way out of another jam by forcing a fly out to shallow center and a groundout back to the mound to send the game to the home half of the fifth scoreless.
The Generals were finally able to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth as Bankovich led off with an infield single to short before being replaced by courtesy runner Eric Schneider.
Corey Bookhamer then laid down a well executed sacrifice bunt to advance Eric Schneider, who used heads-up base running on the play to advance to third as the base was vacated by the Pirates’ defense.
Braden Paulinellie then came up with a single into left-center field to bring home Eric Schneider and break the scoreless tie.
Pulaski looked to build on its lead as Noah Schneider and Ty Bittner drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with still just one out in the inning.
A second mound visit of the inning by Spike Island manager Drew Bryan forced him to remove starting pitcher Nick Coudriet from the game, as he handed the ball over to Kyle Hahn.
Hahn then got out of the bases-loaded jam with a pair of strikeouts as it remained a one-run game after five innings of play.
After Myers retired the side in order in the top half of the sixth behind an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, the Generals got back to work at the plate.
Shane Price and Bryson Paulinellie drew back-to-back walks to chase Hahn from the game as the Pirates turned to Gavin Emigh on the dish.
Myers greeted Emigh by ripping a single to right to load the bases with no outs, as Bankovich followed by driving a pitch down the left-field line to score Price and Bryson Paulinellie to push the lead to three.
After a fly out for the first out of the inning, Doug Kolesar took over on the mound and forced a fly out in foul territory as he looked to keep it a three-run game heading into the seventh.
Instead, he issued a four-pitch walk to Noah Schneider to load the bases, then hit Bittner with a pitch to push across Myers as the Generals took a 4-0 lead into the final inning.
Noah Schneider then took over on the hill for Myers, who went six innings, allowing no runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five to get the win, as he finished off the game by retiring the side in order behind a pair of strikeouts to finish off the victory.
“We’ve had some mental mistakes and I think with the guys missing the high school season it has taken a bit to get up to speed,” Spike Island manager Drew Bryan said. “Overall I’m happy with how we played, we were right there with a great team once again.”
Both teams are back in action Sunday as Pulaski hosts Rossiter at Showers Field at 2 p.m. and Spike Island welcomes Brookville to Houtzdale at 4 p.m.
SPIKE ISLAND 0
Score By Innings
Spike Island 000 000 0 — 0
Pulaski 000 013 x — 4
Parker White ss 3000, Nate Gustkey c 3010, Michael Kitko 1b 2010, Denny Prestash cr 0000, Cody Cox ph-1b 1000, Ryan Whitehead dh 3010, Jake DeSimone lf 0000, Tommy Stephens eh 3010, Ben Gustkey cr 0000, Michael Kephart 3b 2000, Jeremy Whitehead cf 2010, Doug Kolesar rf-p 2000, Nick Coudriet p-lf 2000, Kyle Hahn p 0000, Gavin Emigh p 0000, T.J. Wildman 2b-lf 2020. Totals: 25-0-7-0.
Dante Armanini eh 1000, Shane Price ph 1100, Bryson Paulinellie cf 2100, Phil Myers p 3110, Adam Bankovich c 3132, Eric Schneider cr-3b 0000, Cole Kriner cr 0000, Corey Bookhamer 1b-rf 2000, Braden Paulinellie ss 3021, Noah Schneider 3b-p 1000, Jordy Frank lf 1000, Ty Bittner lf 0001, Damon Foster 2b 1000, Mike Misiewicz 2b 2000, Hunter Antonuccio rf 1000, Nick LaBrasca ph-1b 1000. Totals: 22-4-6-4.
Errors: Spike Island 0, Pulaski 0. LOB: Spike Island 5, Pulaski 7. 2B: Bankovich, Bra. Paulinellie. SAC: Bookhammer. SB: White. PO: White (by Myers), B. Gustkey (by Myers). HBP: Bittner (by Kolesar). DP: Spike Island 1, Pulaski 1.
Spike Island: Nick Coudriet-4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO; Kyle Hahn-2/3 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO; Gavin Emigh-1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO; Doug Kolesar-2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO.
Pulaski: Phil Myers-6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO; Noah Schneider-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.
Winning pitcher: Myers. Losing pitcher: Coudriet.