DuBOIS — The DuBois Little League All-Stars defeated St. Marys 10-0 in four innings to claim the District 10 title at Way Memorial Field Friday night.
The game was in stark contrast to the teams’ first meeting, won 8-7 in walk-off fashion by DuBois in the winners’ bracket finals in St. Marys on Monday. DuBois committed six errors in that victory.
On Friday, the DuBois bats were hot right from the start as it also took advantage of a handful of defensive mistakes by St. Marys and rode a dominant pitching performance from Brayden Fox to the shutout victory.
After Fox issued a lead-off walk to Wil Wortman, the DuBois starter got out out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts around a fly out to right field to bring his team to the plate.
Talon Hodge got the home half of the first started by reaching on a hit by pitch before moving to second on a passed ball.
Fox then helped his own cause, driving a double over the left fielder’s head to plate Hodge for the game’s first run.
That proved to be all the run support Fox would need, but DuBois did not slow down there as its next three batters reached base on the way to a four-run inning.
Trey Wingard followed the double by smacking a first-pitch single into right field to score Fox, before Danny Dixon went after the first pitch as well and ripped a grounder through the left side for a single.
DuBois finished the game with nine hits, as four of those came on the first pitch of an at-bat, while others came on much more drawn out plate appearances.
“That’s been our approach, we are trying to teach the kids that as the tournaments continue on and things roll on you’re not always going to get your perfect pitch,” DuBois head coach T.J. Wingard said.
Noah Farrell was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, as St. Marys starting pitcher Ben Paul struck out the next two batters swinging as he looked to strand the bases loaded.
Instead, Marek Hoyt came through with a big two-out hit, hitting a bloop single to center to bring home Wingard and Dixon.
Farrell was caught between second and third on the play and eventually tagged out for the final out of the inning as DuBois led 4-0 after the first.
St. Marys looked to cut into the deficit in the second as Paul led off by reaching on an error on a grounder to the left side and moved to second on a wild pitch after Fox recorded a strikeout for the frame’s first out.
Charlie Geci then reached on a bunt single to put runners on the corners with one away before moving to second on a fielder’s indifference.
Fox responded by fanning the next two batters swinging to strike out the side and preserve the four-run lead.
In the bottom of the inning, nine-hole hitter Nathan Kougher got things started by drawing a walk.
After a fly out to left for the first out of the inning, Fox hit a ground ball to second as St. Marys attempted to force Kougher out at second.
Instead a bobble on the transfer allowed both runners to reach safely with still just one away.
Wingard followed with his second RBI single to right field of the game to score Kougher, before being forced out at second when Dixon reached on a fielder’s choice.
Next up was Farrell, as he came through with his team’s second big two-out hit in as many innings, singling to center to score Fox as the ball got by the center fielder on the play.
Dixon raced around from first and attempted to score on the play, but Farrell was caught off of second base and tagged out before the run could score as it remained 6-0 heading to the third.
Fox worked around a one-out bunt single by Ben Reynolds in the second as he needed just nine pitches in the inning to bring DuBois back to the plate.
The home side added one more run to its lead in the third when Samson Deeb led off with a bloop single to right-center and later scored when Hunter Allman’s one-out single to center scooted under the center fielder’s glove.
In the fourth inning Fox retired the side in order on just nine pitches on back-to-back groundouts to Deeb at third before a strike out.
Fox finished the game with just two hits allowed in the four-inning shoutout, walking one and striking out seven to record the win.
“He (Fox) pitched fantastic and I think if you go through this tournament I think we gave up less than five earned runs in four games,” Wingard said. “Every pitcher we have thrown out there has thrown strikes, they’ve done a great job and they’re on fire.”
In the bottom of the fourth, DuBois needed to plate three runs to bring the mercy-rule into effect.
It did just that, scoring three runs with just one out in the inning to claim the D-10 title.
Fox got things started by reaching on an error before Wingard walked and Dixon doubled into the right-field corner to score Fox.
Farrell was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Deeb reached on a fielder’s choice as St. Marys forced Wingard out at home on the play.
Camdyn Long and Allman then drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks to bring home Dixon and Farrell respectively to end the game.
“We’re learning, I mean they are 11 and 12 years old and they’re not gonna be perfect so we take the mistakes we make in practice and in games and work on it hope we don’t make them again and we just keep learning,” Wingard said.
DuBois will now begin play in the Section 1 Tournament in Brockway beginning Saturday.