DuBOIS — The old saying, “It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish,” is quickly becoming the team slogan for the Pulaski Generals this season in the Federation League.
Pulaski (9-1) shook off yet another slow start Sunday afternoon at Showers Field to upend visiting Rossiter, 7-2, to capture its seventh straight victory since suffering its lone loss (9-3) of the season to defending league champ Brookville on June 11.
The game was in question Sunday morning as Rossiter struggled to find enough guys to field a team. The Miners managed to do so for the 1 p.m. start and actually led 1-0 after three innings.
However, Pulaski’s bats came alive the second time through the order against lefty Brandon Scarantine. The Generals scored four times in the bottom of the fourth, then added three more in the fifth.
That proved to be more than enough offense for a five Pulaski pitchers, who combined to strand 11 runners on base despite giving up just four hits in the game. The Generals’ staff walked seven but struck out nine.
“It seems to be our MO (this season), late starts, but it worked,” said Pulaski assistant coach Brad Bitttner. “I have to give them (Rossiter) credit. They pulled four guys out of the wood work who haven’t played to come up here and get a game in, and they did their best.
“A couple bad breaks went their way, but that’s baseball. They easily could have went against us, but they didn’t. Our pitching has been good so far, and we wanted more guys to pitch this, and have been able to do that. We also got a lot of the younger guys innings today, and that was good too.”
Pulaski started Hunter Antonuccio worked around a pair of walks in the top of the first, getting some help from shortstop Bryson Paulinellie, who gunned down a runner at the plate on a groundball to keep the Miners off the scoreboard.
Paulinellie legged out an infield single in the bottom half of the inning, but after stealing second, was throw out at third trying to advance on a pitch that bounced in front of the catcher.
The Generals struggled to get going against Scarantine through three innings. Phil Myers led off the second with a single, and Shane Price walked with one out in the second, but neither runner left first base.
Meanwhile, the Miners got to Antonuccio for a run in the top of the third to grab the lead.
Addison Neal led off with a single to left and promptly stole second. He took third when Max London reached on an error. Pulaski then elected to throw down when London took off, but Price’s throw went into center field, allowing Neal to trot home to make it 1-0.
Antonuccio halted the damage there and allowed just the one unearned run on one hit in three innings of work. He struck out three and walk four. He was lifted for Garrett Starr in the fourth, and Starr quickly retired the side in order, striking out a pair.
Pulaski carried that momentum into the bottom of the fourth and finally solved Scarantine — pushing four runs across to take control of the game.
Paulinellie jump-started the inning with a triple to left-center. Corey Bookhamer followed with a walk before Myers hit into a fielder’s choice that plated Paulinellie.
Devin Clark, making his season debut, then lined a pitch into right that Brandon Mancuso made a diving attempt on. The Miner came up short on that effort, and Clark hustled around the bases for a 2-run inside-the-park home run to put his team up 3-1.
Starr kept the inning going two batters later with a 2-out single, while Mike Misiewicz followed with a single of his own. The ball got past the outfielder, with Starr sprinting around from first to score on the error.
The 4-run inning proved to be enough offense in the end, as Paulinellie and Bookhamer tossed a scoreless fifth and sixth, respectively. The Generals tacked on three more insurance runs in between those frames to go up 7-1.
Cole Kriner legged out an infield single to open the inning against reliever Kam Falgout. Pinch-hitter Dante Armanini, Paulinellie and Bookhamer then all drew walks, with Bookhamer’s free pass forcing home Kriner.
Rossiter then went to Cory Geer on the mound, and Myers greeted him with a sacrifice fly to left to plate Armanini. Clark followed with a single, and Paulinellie scored the Generals final run when the ball got past the left fielder again.
Rossiter tried to make some noise in the seventh against Kriner, the fifth Generals pitcher of the day. The Miners loaded the bases with one out on a Bryton Fegley single and walk by Mancuso and Geer.
Fegley scored a batter later when Neal beat out a double-play try by Pulaski. Max London followed with a walk to reload the bases, but Kriner ended things there when he Tyler Richardson hit a grounder to third and Starr stepped on the bag to end the game.
Both teams are back in action at home on Tuesday. Pulaski hosts Sykesville at Stern Field, while Rossiter welcomes Brookville.
Score by Innings
Rossiter 001 000 1 — 2
Pulaski 000 430 x — 7
Addison Neal c 3111, Max London cf 3000, Tyler Richardson ss 3000, Kam Falgout 2b-3b-p-1b 3010, Reed lf 2000, Kevin London 1b-3b 2000, Bill Fegley 3b 0000, Fegley ph-2b 2000, Bryton Fegley eh 3110, Brandon Mancuso rf 2000, Cory Geer dh-p 2010, Branson Scarantine p 0000. Totals: 25-2-4-1.
Damon Foster eh 2000, Dante Armanini ph-rf 1100, Bryson Paulinellie ss-p-ss 3220, Corey Bookhamer dh-p-eh 1001, Phil Myers 1b 2112, RJ Olson 1b 0000, Devin Clark cf 3122, Jack Frank lf 2000, Jordy Frank ph-lf 1000, Garrett Starr 3b-p-ss-3b 2110, Mike Misiewicz 2b 3010, Shane Price c 2000, Cole Kriner rf-eh-p 3110, Hunter Antonuccio p 0000, Eric Schneider 3b 0000. Totals: 25-7-8-5.
Errors: Rossiter 2, Pulaski 1. LOB: Rossiter 11, Pulaski 7. 3B: Paulinellie. HR: Clark. SF: Myers. SB: Neal, M. London, Falgout; Paulinellie. CS: Paulinellie (by Neal).
Rossiter: Brandon Scarantine-4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO; *Kam Falgout-0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO; Cory Geer-2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO.
Pulaski: Hunter Antonuccio-3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO; Garrett Starr-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Bryson Paulinellie-1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Corey Bookhamer-1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO; Cole Kriner-1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO.
* Falgout pitched to 4 batters in the 5th.
Winning pitcher: Starr. Losing pitcher: Scarantine.