By Lisa Byers
July 19, 2013 7:00 a.m. WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP —
The DuBois Senior League All-Stars have played quite a few games so far this summer. And few teams have been able to hang with them. DuBois has enjoyed three wins of 10 runs or more, and another victory by nine runs.
So with just two games under its belt and a little over a week together as a team, it was unknown how Meadville/Mid-East/Titusville would stack up against DuBois in the Section 1 opener on Thursday at Fairgrounds Fields.
MET wound up giving DuBois its toughest game of the summer. Unfortunately for the locals, it still wasn’t quite enough.
DuBois pitcher Ryan Anderson allowed just one hit in 5 1/3 innings of work to lead DuBois to a 4-2 win over the METs in the winner’s bracket final.
DuBois advances to Saturday’s championship game where it will face the winner of today’s game between MET and Cranberry/Oil City/A-C Valley, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Fairgrounds.
“That was probably one of the closest games we have had so far,” DuBois manager Rich Petrillo said. “My No. 1 pitcher Ryan Anderson went into the sixth inning and didn’t allow a hit until his last pitch, which I didn’t even know.
“He did a really nice job for us.”
Anderson was pretty solid for DuBois, but so was Jacob Foltz, the starter for MET, which made for quite a showdown. Yesterday’s contest was scoreless through three-and-a-half innings with just one hit total. That hit came from DuBois’ Taylor Rutherford in the bottom of the third inning, but he was gunned down at third base on a stolen base attempt.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning that DuBois finally got a handle on Foltz and his sidearm delivery.
Ben Hayes got it started with a two-out single to left field. Brandon Simbech answered with a nearly identical shot, bringing Alex LaBue to the plate. LaBue sent a ground ball to third base. The ball took a bad bounce and traveled into the outfield for an error, allowing Hayes to score, giving DuBois a 1-0 lead.
DuBois added three more runs in the fifth inning. Jordan Arrington reached on an error to start the inning. Rutherford drew a one-out walk and Jake Felix was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Michael Polohonki was also hit by a pitch, forcing in Arrington. Hayes then came through off reliever Khalid Abu Saleh with a two-run single, scoring Rutherford — the eventual game-winning run — and Felix.
“They kept us off balance,” Petrillo said. “Until their pitcher started tiring there in the late innings, we weren’t doing anything. That’s a good pitcher. I don’t think we’ll have to face him again.”
But while the METs haven’t played a whole lot together as a team, one thing they have shown in that short time is that they don’t go down easily. The METs won two close contests against Conneaut for the District 1 championship. And they went on to make their Section 1 opener a close one as well.
Zack Richards got the rally going for MET with one out. Zach Darling reached on an error to start the inning but was picked off at first base for the first out.
Richards picked up his teammate by drawing a walk. Trevor Smith answered with a single and then Jesse Staudt, also referred to as “No Doubt Staudt” by his teammates and coaches, lived up to his name. Staudt took the first pitch he saw off reliever LaBue — a hanging curve ball — and ripped it through the gap in right center field and to the fence for a two-run double.
Noah Marvin kept the inning going with a walk. Cam Motzing flew out to deep right field and Dane Stokes, who came inches from plating another run, grounded out to third to end the inning.
The METs gave it another shot in the seventh inning. Foltz singled and Abu Saleh drew a walk to start the inning. Darling followed with a fly ball that dropped in shallow center field. DuBois’ center fielder Cory Manning fielded the ball and threw to third base for the fielder’s choice out.
The inning and game ended with DuBois’ second 5-3 double play of the game.
“I can’t say enough about our two 15-year-old pitchers and the way they threw (last night),” MET coach Keith Klingler said. “They only gave up (four hits). Great job. We were just a little too late. But we gave this team all they wanted.”
Hayes finished the game 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored. Anderson threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on one hit with three walks and five strikeouts. Smith broke up the no-hitter with his single in the sixth inning. It was the final pitch for Anderson, who ran out of pitches at 99.
For Foltz, he went 4 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and four runs (two of which were earned) with two walks and two strikeouts. Abu Saleh finished it with 2 2/3 innings of work. He allowed one hit.