ROSSITER — Rossiter’s Shaffer Field is always a tough place for the opposition to play, but the DuBois Rockets showed the heart of a champion Wednesday nigh and rallied from an early 4-0 hole to come away with a highly emotional 7-5, 8-inning victory.
The host Miners jumped on Rockets’ starter Morgan Bell four runs on three hits in the bottom of the first, but Bell proved vital in the Rockets’ come-from behind victory as he gutted out six innings. He limited the Miners to just one run on four hits in his final five frames.
DuBois eventually pulled even with a three-run fifth against Miners starter Isaac London, only to see Rossiter retake the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Daren Byers led off the inning with a triple and scored on a wild throw to third on the play.
The Rockets once again had an answer as Garrett Brown singled and scored in the sixth to tie the game and ultimately force extra innings. DuBois lost starting center fielder Thayne Morgan to a leg injury in the frame, as he stumbled rounding third on Sean Sleigh’s single that plated Brown and was tagged out trying to get back to third to end the inning.
Josh Sorbera got things started in the eighth when he reached on an error with one out. Brown followed with his second walk of the game before the runners moved up on a failed pickoff attempt.
That brought Morgan’s spot in the order up, and manager Jeff Gasbarre, who had entered the game to play first, elected to pull himself in favor of pinch-hitter Zane Morgan, who has only been handing pinch-running duties most of the summer as he deals with his own injury.
Gasbarre’s decision paid off in a big way as Zane Morgan ripped a single to left to plate Sorbera with the eventual game-winning run. Chris Calliari added a big insurance run a couple hitters later as he drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Brown to make it 7-5.
Calliari, who was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, also made the defensive play of the game when he made a diving catch in center with two runners on and one out in the sixth with the score tied 5-5.
Reliever Dan Stauffer made those two runs stand up as he tossed a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to earn the victory. Stauffer retired all six batters he faced between the sixth and seventh innings after coming on for Bell.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done,” said Gasbarre afterwards. “It was sloppy. We started out playing rough defense, the ball was up a little bit, but Bell really gutted it out. He had a four-run first, 30 pitches, then locked it down. He’s a great pitcher, and we’re thrilled with what we got out of him.
“The aggressiveness hurt us a little again tonight, and we’re not going to lose our identity, but we need to be a little smarter with that and pick out spots better. They are really making adjustments in an effort to shut down the running game. We have to be able to counter-punch that and be smart on the bases. But, it’s who we are.
“I was going to bunt there at the end (in 8th), but I was just giving a free out away. I figured we had a viable bullet on the bench, and he (Zane Morgan) hasn’t had a live AB in two months I bet. It was a clutch hit and awesome for him.”
London worked around a pair of walks to start the game, then watched his offense hand him a 4-0 lead after one with a big half inning.
Bell hit Addison Neal to open the inning, and he was bunted to second by London. Daren Byers promptly followed with a single to score Neal. Isaac Stouffer then reached on an error, while Pete Meterko walked to load the bases.
Anthony Maseto kept the inning going with a RBI single before Matt Gourley plated two runners with single inside the third-base bag.
Bell would allow just four more hits over the next five innings as the Rockets slowly battled back into the game.
DuBois got a run back in the second when Breon drew a leadoff walk, took third on a single Read and scored on a groundout by Luke Salvo.
London worked out of a jam in the third as DuBois loaded the bases despite lining into a double play for the first two outs in the frame. The Rockets still couldn’t push a ru across as London fielded a comebacker by Breon to end the inning.
DuBois finally got to London again in the fifth.
Thayne Morgan led off and reached on an error, while a single by Stauffer and Sleigh walk loaded the bases. Calliari then delivered a clutch two-run double down the right-field line to make it a 4-3 game. Clayton Read then knotted the scored at 4-4 with a sac fly to center that brought home Sleigh.
Any momentum DuBois gained was quickly taken away as Byers scored to open the bottom of the fifth on his triple and error on the play and put the Miners back up 5-4.
DuBois countered right back in the sixth.
Brown legged out an infield single with one out, then stole second before Morgan blooped a single into center. Rossiter reliever Maseto got a huge out when Stauffer fouled out to first, but Sleigh came through with a single to left to score Brown to tie the game. Stauffer and Brown each had two hits.
Thayne Morgan went down trying to round third and couldn’t get back to the bag in time before being tagged out to end the inning. The injury didn’t appear to be serious, but Gasbarre pulled Morgan as a precaution.
Bell worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth in his final inning of work, getting Meterko to hit a soft limner to Read at short to strand all three runners.
Both teams went quietly in the seventh before the Rockets took advantage of two Miner errors in the seventh to score twice to steal a win on the road.
Game 3 is set for tonight at Showers Field at 6 p.m.
ROSSITER 5, 8 innings
Score by Innings
DuBois 010 031 02 — 7
Rossiter 400 010 00 — 5
Garrett Brown 3b-cf 3220, Thayne Morgan cf 3110, Jeff Gasbarre 1b 0000, Zane Morgan ph-1b 1011, Dan Stauffer c-lf-p 4120, Sean Sleigh 1b-rf 3111, Chris Calliari lf-cf-lf 3023, Cole Breon 2b 4100, Clayton Read ss 3011, Luke Salvo dh-c 3001, Josh Sorbera rf-c-3b 4100. Totals: 31-7-10-6.
Addison Neal 2b 3120, Isaac London p-rf 3000, Daren Byers cf 4221, Isaac Stouffer 3b 3000, Pete Meterko ss 2100, Anthony Maseto rf-p 4011, Matt Gourley 1b 4022, Ashton Stonbraker 4000, Tyler Richardson 3000, Dylan Kachmar pr 0000. Totals: 30-4-7-4.
Errors: DuBois 3, Rossiter 3. LOB: DuBois 11, Rossiter 9. DP: DuBois 1, Rossiter 1. 2B: Calliari. 3B: Byers. SF: Read. HBP: Stauffer (Maseto); Neal (by Bell). SB: Brown 2; London. CS: T. Morgan; Neal.
DuBois: Morgan Bell-6 IP, 7 H. 5 R. 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 SO, 1 HB; Dan Stauffer-2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Rossiter: Isaac London-5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 7 BB, 1 SO; Anthony Maseto-3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HB.
Winning pitcher: Stauffer. Losing pitcher: Maseto.