DuBOIS — The DuBois Little League All-Star baseball team saw its run in the District 10 Tournament come to an end Sunday with an 8-1 loss to Punxsutawney at Way Memorial Field.
Punxsy jumped on DuBois starter Gavin Kaschalk for seven runs, four earned, in the first inning-plus of the game. Punxsy did most of that damage in the first as it coupled three hits with two DuBois errors as it pushed five runs across to seize control of the game.
That big start proved to be the difference as Carter Hickman relieved Kaschalk in the second and silenced Punxsy’s bats for most of the game from there. Hickman allowed one unearned run on two hits while striking out 11 and walking four in 4 2/3 innings of work. He hit the 85-pitch limit with two outs in the sixth.
Hickman’s effort on the mound gave DuBois a chance to fight its way back into the game, and the hosts certainly had their opportunities.
However, DuBois couldn’t come up with a couple timely hits against Punxsy starter Zack Dinger or reliever Jake Sikora. DuBois stranded six runners — five in scoring position — over the first three innings and left nine on base in the game.
Sikora tossed the final four innings to pick up the win. He allowed no runs on two hits, striking out two and walking five.
The victory advances Punxsy to Wednesday’s losers’ bracket finals — a game that will be played in Brookville at 6 p.m. Brookville lost 10-0 in four innings Sunday to Johnsonburg/Kane in the winners’ bracket finals.
Punxsy wasted little time getting its offense going Sunday, as Justin Miller led off the game with a single and Zeke Bennett doubled to left to put two runners in scoring position.
Carter Savage then reached on an error that allowed Miller to score and put runners on the corners. Sikora walked to load the bases before Dinger ripped a single to right to plate Bennett and reload the bases.
Kaschalk then struck out Josh Tyger for the first out, while third Hickman — who started at third — cut down a run at the plate on a fielder’s choice.
With two outs, it appeared DuBois would get out of the inning without any further damage when Easton Gula hit a fly ball to right. However, the ball was dropped, allowing all three runners to score to put Punxsy up 5-0.
Kaschalk struck out the next batter, but the damage had been done.
DuBois tried to answer back in the bottom half of the inning as Aaron Andrulonis drew a one-out walk and Kaschalk worked a two-out free pass. But, Dinger got a grounder to end the inning.
Punxsy added to its lead with a pair of runs in the second.
Miller and Bennett drew back-to-back walks to open the inning, which spelled the end for Kaschalk. Hickman came on and quickly struck out Savage and Sikora before walking Dinger to load the bases.
Tyger followed with a single to right that scored Miller, while Bennett sprinted home on a wild pitch to make it 7-0.
DuBois put two runners on again in the bottom of the second.
Dalton Yale drew a leadoff walk, while Joey Foradora beat out an infield single with one away. Both advanced on a two-out wild pitch, but Dinger used another groundout to end the threat.
DuBois finally broke through against Dinger in the third.
Pinch-hitter Nate Tyler and Kaschalk drew walks around a single by Hickman to load the bases with no outs. That rally quickly ended Dinger’s day, as Punxsy went to Sikora.
Cartar Kosko promptly greeted Sikora with a sacrifice fly to left that plated Tyler to make it 7-1. That proved to be all the DuBois offense though, as Sikora struck out the next two hitters to strand Hickman and Kaschalk in scoring position.
Punxsy tacked on its final run in the fifth when Jimmie Neese hit a leadoff single and went to second on an error on in the outfield. Neese took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a safety squeeze by Gula to put Punxsy up 8-1.
DuBois’ final threat came in the bottom half of the fifth.
With one out, Hickman singled to center, while Kaschalk drew a walk. Both runners advanced a base on a fly out, but Sikora fielded a comebacker off the bat of Yale to end the inning. Hickman had two of DuBois’ four hits on the day.
DuBois finished All-Star play with a 2-2 record, including a 5-3 win over Punxsy in the opening game of the tourney for both teams.