DuBOIS — The DuBois Rockets used an offensive explosion in the fifth inning Sunday night at Showers Field to knock off Rossiter, 9-1, in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated to win the Federation League championship series 4-1.
The Fed League title was the second straight for the Rockets, and third in four years, and punctuated an impressive 2021 season that saw DuBois go a combined 29-2 between the regular season (20-1) and postseason (9-1).
The Rockets’ lone losses came to Pulaski (2-1) on June 4 in the fifth game of the season and Rossiter (5-3) in Game 3 of the Fed League finals last Thursday, breaking a 22-game winning streak.
The Rockets are 50-4-1 over the past two seasons.
Sunday’s title-clinching victory was far from certain most of the way as it proved to be an old-fashion pitchers’ duel between Rossiter’s Ty Ryen and DuBois’ Taylor Boland.
Ryen, a senior to be at Marion Center, took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth as he only allowed two base runners through four innings on a leadoff walk in the third and a two-out error in the fourth.
Boland, one of several Penn State DuBois players on the Rockets’ roster, matched zeroes with Ryen most of the way to that point as well. However, he still found himself trailing 1-0 as the Miners used three hits in the second to push across a run second against the Rockets’ righty.
The game changed in DuBois’ favor in the fifth though as a veteran Rockets lineup eventually figured out Ryen and exploded for nine runs on seven hits in the inning.
Ryen allowed seven of the nine runs before he was forced to leave the game after appearing to hurt his knee while trying to cover home plate on a wild pitch that allowed Garrett Brown to score. Anthony Maseto came on in relief and gave up two runs of his own before finally getting the Miners out of the inning.
All told, DuBois sent 14 batters to the plate in the huge inning, with eight different Rockets scoring in the frame. Cory Lehman and Luke Salvo each went 2-for-2 in the inning and combined to drive in five of the nine runs. Salvo had three RBIs and Lehman two.
Boland, who also won Game 1, was named the Fed League Finals MVP for his effort on the mound. He tossed a combined 10 innings between his two wins, allowing two runs (both earned) on 10 hits while striking out eight and walking four.