BROOKVILLE — Thayne Morgan’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fourth inning was all the DuBois Rockets needed in a 2-1 win over the Brookville Grays at McKinley Field Thursday.
Field availability issues forced the change of venue to Brookville with the Rockets being the home team and with the win they improved to 7-1.
And thanks to scheduling movements after the league set the matchups in the preseason, the Grays (3-3) and Rockets are finished playing each other already. The Rockets won all three meetings, accounting for all of the Grays losses to this point.
The Rockets trio of Braiden Blair, John White and Dan Stauffer combined to toss a three-hitter. Blair went the first three scoreless innings, White gave up a run and a hit in two innings to notch the official win on the mound while Stauffer three two scoreless innings for the save.
“We knew Blair was on a pitch count and this was a side session today because he’s throwing for the Bucks this weekend and he threw well and John came in and pounded the zone and then we had the hammer with Dan at the end. He’s as sure as we can bet on,” said Rockets manager Jeff Gasbarre.
Thayne and his brother Zane Morgan singled to start the bottom of the first inning, but Grays starter Kane McCall got Stauffer to ground into a double play and Sean Sleigh to fly out to right. In the second inning, the Rockets loaded the bases with two outs, but McCall got Thayne Morgan to pounce into an inning-ending forceout.
But in the fourth, the Rockets ended the scoreless battle. Chris Calliari led off with a single and reached second as did Morgan Bell when McCall misplayed Bell’s bunt back to the mound. Josh Sorbera bunted both runners over. McCall walked Luke Salvo then struck out White before Morgan’s single to center scored Calliari and Bell.
“Thayne came up with the big hit and has been coming through in the clutch quite a bit and that’s exactly what we needed in that spot. It was the second time he had come up with the bases loaded,” Gasbarre said.
The Rockets stranded two runners on in the fifth after a Sleigh one-out double off Grays reliever Jamison Rhoades, who threw the final two innings.
“We did a good job working counts and extended Kane (McCall) early on to get into the bullpen, which is always huge in a game like this, but I thought we had good at-bats and were a hit away from a few other runs,” Gasbarre said.
The Grays hits came on Jake Meeker’s bunt single in the first, Sam Leadbetter’s single in the fifth and Cayliff Worling’s infield single in the seventh.
In the fifth, White walked Drew Pirritano and hit Tanner LaBenne before Drew Beichner’s sacrifice bunt try forced out Pirritano at third.
Leadbetter singled to load the bases before Hunter Geer beat out a double play attempt by the Rockets on his grounder to short, allowing LaBenne to score.
Both teams play doubleheaders Sunday in the Fed League’s “doubleheader day” across the schedule.
The Grays host the PGP/Post 6 Husker Chiefs from Clearfield starting at 2 p.m. while the Rockets “visit” the DuBois Lumberjacks at Showers Field starting at 1 p.m.
ROCKETS 2, GRAYS 1
Score By Innings
Grays 000 010 0 - 1
Rockets 000 200 x - 2
Hunter Geer cf 3001, Jake Meeker c 3010, Joey Lopez ss 3000, Nathan Bonfardine 3b 3000, Chase Palmer rf 3000, Brady Caylor 2b 3000, Drew Pirritano lf 2000, Tanner LaBenne 1b 1100, Drew Beichner eh 1000, Cayliff Worling pr-eh 1010, Sam Leadbetter dh 3010, Kane McCall p 0000, Jamison Rhoades p 0000. Totals: 26-1-3-1.
Thayne Morgan cf 4022, Zane Morgan dh 3010, Braiden Blair p 0000, Jeff Gasbarre 1b 0000, Dan Stauffer rf-3b-p 3000, Sean Sleigh 2b-rf 3010, Chris Calliari lf 3110, Morgan Bell 1b-2b 1100, Josh Sorbera ss 2010, Luke Salvo c 1000, John White 3b-p-3b 2000. Totals: 22-2-6-2.
Errors: Rockets 3, Grays 1. LOB: Grays 8, Rockets 6. DP: Grays. 2B: Sleigh. SAC: Bell, Sorbera, Beichner. SB: Geer. HBP: LaBenne (by White).
Grays: McCall 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 SO, 3 BB; Rhoades 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 SO, 1 BB.
Rockets: Blair 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 1 BB; White 2 IP, 1 h, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO, 1 BB; Stauffer 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 SO, 0 BB.
Winning pitcher: White. Losing pitcher: McCall. Save: Stauffer.