REYNOLDSVILLE — Sykesville used a huge eight-run bottom of the fifth to stun the DuBois Rockets, 11-9, Saturday to hold serve in Game 2 and even the Federation League Championship Series at 1-1.
DuBois appeared headed to a 2-0 series lead as the Rockets built an 8-0 lead after three inning while starting pitcher Dom Kriner took a perfect game into the bottom of the fourth.
However, Ryan Walker breathed some life back into the Senators with a three-run home off Kriner in the fourth to make it an 8-3 game.
DuBois got a run back in the top of the fifth on a Matt Zimmerman RBI single, but the wheels came off for Kriner and the Rockets in the bottom half of the fifth.
Austin Blauser, who got the win in relief, led off the inning with a single before erased on a fielder’s choice. Brandon Simbeck followed with a single, while Brandon Sicheri walked to load the bases.
That brought Adam Fox to the plate, and the veteran blasted a grand slam to left off Kriner to make it a 9-7 game.
Jake Felix kept the inning going with a single, which spelled the end for Kriner, who wound up allowing eight runs (all earned) on seven hits after his strong start.
Alex Hart came on in relief but struggled to find the strike zone. He walked Devon Walker and Ryan Walker to load the bases before Jude Lander singled home a run.
A bases-loaded walk by Blauser forced home Devon Walker with the game-tying run before Cory Manning put the Senators head when he plated Ryan Walker on a groundout.
A walk to Simbeck reloaded the bases and prompted another pitching change, as Brandon Orsich came on for the Rockets. Sicheri greeted Orsich with a single to left to chase home Lander to make it 11-9. Sicheri was the lone Senator with two hits.
Orsich finally got DuBois out of the jam when Fox flew out to deep center with the bases loaded in his second at-bat of the inning.
Hart took the loss for the Rockets after allowing three runs, all earned, on one hit and four walks in one-third of an inning of work.
DuBois tried to answer back in the top of the sixth as Clayton Read reached on a leadoff error. Read stole second with one out, but Blauser got mark Guthridge to fly out to center and Thayne Morgan to groundout to short to end the inning.
After Orsich retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth, Sykesville went to Fox, its closer, in the top of the seventh.
DuBois tried to put together a rally against the righty, as Nate Sabados drew a one-out walk and Matt Zimmerman singled with two away. But, Fox stranded those runners when he got Jeff Gasbarre to ground out to Devon Walker at short to end the game.
Game 3 is scheduled for this evening at Showers Field at 6 p.m. The series has a scheduled off day on Monday before it resumes with Game 4 Tuesday in Reynoldsville at 6 p.m.
DuBois couldn’t have asked for a better start to Game 2 Saturday. As Kriner retired the side in order in the first three innings, the Rockets offense staked him to an 8-0 lead.
The Rockets left two on in the first against before getting to Sykesville starter Keaton Beckes for an unearned run in the second.
Read got the inning started with a one-out infield. Beckes then walked Josh Zelinski before Guthridge reached on a bunt single to load the bases.
Thayne Morgan then hit a fly ball to shallow right field that was dropped by Dan Wascovich, allowing Read to race home to put the Rockets up 1-0.
DuBois then broke the game open with a seven-run top of the third, batting around just like the Senators would do later in the game.
The Rockets load the bases with no outs on walks by Sean Zimmerman, Matt Zimmerman and Gasbarre. Beckes then hit Read to force home a run, which ended his day on the mound.
Blauser came on to pitch and was promptly greeted by a long RBI single by Zelenski that hit the fence in right field that the runners had to hold up on. Guthridge then hit a chopper on the infield, with Gasbarre beating a high throw home.
Thayne Morgan followed with a sacrifice fly, while twin brother Zane Morgan plated a run by beating out an infield single.
That brought Sabados to the plate, and the lefty blasted a Blauser pith well over the fence in center to give DuBois what appeared to be a commanding 8-0 lead.
That proved not to be the case though, with Sykesville starting its comeback in the fourth.
Sicheri broke up Kriner’s perfect game bid with a leadoff single to left. Kriner then got Fox and Felix to flyout, but Devon Walker extended the inning with a single before Ryan Walker hammered a Kriner pitch over the fence in left for a three-run homer to make it 8-3.
That set the stage for the Senators huge bottom of the fifth that got them back into the series.
Sabados, Matt Zimmerman and Zelenski all finished with two hits for the Rockets.