ST. MARY’S – It was far from a defensive gem, or a pitching miracle, but even so, Elk County Catholic (ECC) stopped the Curwensville Golden Tide Wednesday afternoon on their home field, 11-9.
It was the second win of the year for ECC against the Tide, having won the first game 2-0 just nine days ago at Curwensville.
Combined, the teams had a total of 25 hits and 20 runs. That was the good part. The ugly part? The two squads combined for seven errors and 11 walks. When the smoke cleared however, the Tide came out on the short end to have their brief two game winning streak snapped. Curwensville is now 8-3 on the year.
The bottom of the first really put the Tide in a hole, as they committed three costly errors to propel the Crusaders to a 5-0 bulge after just one inning. Curwensville would get on the board with two in their half of the third. So did Elk County, as they scored two in the bottom of the inning to maintain their five run margin.
The Crusaders added a run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 8-2 lead. That’s when things got interesting. The Tide’s DH, Trevor Horton, jacked a two run home run in the top of the fifth inning over the left center field fence to help the Tide pick up three runs. Suddenly it was 8-5 in favor of ECC going into the top of the sixth. Once again the Tide pushed three more runs across to knot the game at 8 all heading into the bottom half of the sixth frame.
Tide relief pitcher Justin Johnston, after blanking ECC in the bottom of the fifth, couldn’t find the strike zone and walked the bases loaded with no outs in the sixth. Tide sophomore, Sam Gardner, was next to be placed on the mound, in a very precarious situation, and to his credit, got the Crusaders out, but not before surrendering two hits that enabled ECC to score three runs.
Curwensville would add a run in their half of the seventh but the comeback fell short for the visitors by two.
Golden Tide head coach Ryan Briskar summed it up, “We played a terrible first inning with those three errors. You’re not going to get away with giving a team like Elk County extra at bats. It will sting you, and they did.”
The Tide had a total of ten players getting base hits, with Jed Greslick and Cory Bloom stroking two each. Curwensville picked up four extra base hits while Elk County Catholic had 5. The Crusaders had five players with two hits, Cody Herzing, Nick Brennen, Dan Hawkins, Andy Wehler and, Kiel Nissel.
In their first meeting of the year, April 14, ECC’s Brennen threw a complete game, one hitter in the 2-0 victory.
The Tide next travel to West Branch on Friday for a Moshannon Valley League (MVL) game starting at 4:30 pm. Curwensville beat the Warriors earlier this season, 6-1. The Warriors, as of this writing, are 4-4 overall and 2-1 in the MVL. The Golden Tide are undefeated in MVL action at 4-0.
Briskar noted, “We better forget about this one in a hurry and get ready for another tough one against West Branch. It will be a fight at their place.”
CURWENSVILLE – Ben McGary cf 5111, Mark Dell’Antonio 1b 4010, Jed Greslick rf 3220, Brett McCracken p/3b 4111, Brett Sutika 2b 3111, Andrew Straw 3b 0000, Trevor Horton dh 3212, Sam Gardner lf/p 3010, Wes McGarry ph 1011, Jesse Hoover ss 3120, Cory Bloom c 3110, Justin Johnston p 0000. TOTALS – 32 9 12 6
ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC – Tom Schneider 3b 4000, Cody Herzing c 4220, Nick Brennen p/cf 3321, Josh Lovenduski 1b 2211, Dan Hawkins 2b 3222, Andy Wehler ss 4121, Kiel Nissel dh 4120, Matt Schreiber lf 3010, Tom Jovenitti rf 3010, Joe Jacob p 0000, Nick Childs p 0000. TOTALS – 30 11 13 5
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
Curwensville 002 033 1 9 12 4
Elk County Catholic 502 103 X 11 13 3
ERRORS – Brennen, Lovenduski, Hawkins. Sutika, Hoover, Bloom, Dell’Antonio. LOB – CURWENSVILLE – 9 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC – 8. 2B- McGary, Hoover, Bloom. Herzing, Hawkins, Wehler. 3B – Brennen, Lovenduski. HR – Horton(5th. One runner on). SAC – Lovenduski. SB – Greslick 2, McGary, Hoover. Brennen 2, Hawkins.
PITCHING IP H R ER BB K
McCracken 4 10 8 2 1 2
Johnston 1 1 3 3 3 1
Gardner 1 2 0 0 0 0
ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC
Brennen 3 3 2 2 3 4
Jacob 1/3 6 3 3 1 0
Childs 3 2/3 3 4 1 3 2
WP – Childs LP – Johnston (1-2)