CURWENSVILLE – A two-out rally in the sixth inning boosted the Curwensville 13-and-14 All-Stars to a 6-4 win over Punxsutawney in the opening game of the VFW Teener Area VI Tournament at the Curwensville Area High School Field Monday evening.
Pinch-hitter Todd Munchak fouled off three, two-strike pitches from Dakota Thomas before the Punxsy reliever finally walked him on the ninth offering.
Brad Coudriet and Shane Hoover slashed singles to right field to chase Munchak around the sacks for the winning run. Jordan Russell picked up the insurance run RBI by beating out a high chopper that Thomas was able to only deflect and had to field behind the mound.
Boone McGary pitched a scoreless seventh to save the win for Hunter McCracken, who had labored through six innings with 151 pitches.
The visitors got the tying runs on base with one out via Thomas\’ second hit and a walk, but Hoover came in to make a shoetop grab of Keenan Kopas\’ soft liner and tagged the lead runner for a game-ending, unassisted double play.
While McCracken battled control problems, walking eight and hitting one, the right-hander struck out eight and gave up only four hits and three earned runs.
Three of the free passes were converted into runs by the visitors, the first of which gave Punxsy its only lead in the first inning. Seth Spack walked, stole second and scored on Garrett Zimmerman\’s single that hugged the third base line.
Curwensville countered with three runs off Luke Janocha.
Hoover led off with a triple to right center, and Russell walked. It appeared the Punxsy left-hander might work out of the jam when he rang up the next two batters, but Jordan Lancaster came through with a clutch double that fell just out of the reach of center fielder Spack, scoring Hoover and Russell. Jason Bloom\’s single through the left side plated Lancaster.
Punxsy got a gift run in the second when Russell never picked up the high fly off Spack\’s bat and the ball fell behind him in center field for a two-out, RBI-double.
Back-to-back doubles by McCracken and McGary made it 4-2 in the third.
The next two frames were key for McCracken as he escaped tricky situations with minimal damage, surrendering one run in each instance.
After an error and two walks filled the sacks with one out in the fourth, Hoover turned Spack\’s grounder into a force at the plate. McCracken plunked Ty Zimmerman to force in a run, but Hoover ranged to his left to short-hop Garrett Zimmerman\’s near second base and fired to first for the final out.
Punxsy applied the pressure again in the fifth, tying the game on two walks and Thomas\’ double to right center. A safety squeeze bunt by Mickey DeChurch backfired, when McCracken got Janocha in a rundown, with third baseman Lancaster cutting down the runner at the plate on a lunging tag by McGary.
McCracken notched consecutive strikeouts to strand Thomas and DeChurch in scoring position.
And the hosts pinned the loss on Thomas in the next inning.
Curwensville\’s next outing will be Wednesday at Philipsburg.
Two of the three teams in the double round-robin tourney will advance to the state championships.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — 4
Seth Spack cf 3111, Ty Zimmerman ss 3001, Garrett Zimmerman 3b 4011, Jamie Bush 1b 1100, Luke Janocha p-lf 3000, Dakota Thomas 2b-p 4021, Mickey DeChurch c 4000, Michael Blose lf-2b 2210, Michael Klingensmith dh 0000, Mike Pascuzzo pr-dh 0000, Keenan Kopas rf 2000. TOTALS: 26 4 5 0.
CURWENSVILLE — 6
Shane Hoover ss 4121, Jordan Russell cf 3111, Hunter McCracken p-c 4110, Boone McGary c-p 2011, Jordan Lancaster 3b 3112, Jason Bloom 1b 3011, Curt Bloom 2b 3000, Jeremy McCracken dh 1000, Todd Munchak ph-dh 0100, Josh Ireland lf 0000, Austin Turner rf 2000, Brad Coudriet rf 1110. TOTALS: 26 6 8 6.
Score by Innings
Punxsutawney 110 110 0 – 4 5 1
Curwensville 301 002 x – 6 8 3
Errors – G. Zimmerman; Hoover, Lancaster, Ireland. DP – Curwensville (Hoover unassisted). LOB – Punxsutawney 11; Curwensville 6. 2B – Spack, Thomas; H. McCracken, McGary, Lancaster. 3B – Hoover. SB – Spack, T. Zimmerman, Bush 2, DeChurch, Blose; Russell.
Punxsutawney – Janocha 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Thomas 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Curwensville – H. McCracken 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 8 BB, 8 K; McGary 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K>
HB – H. McCracken 1 (T. Zimmerman). WP – H. McCracken 1.
W – H. McCracken (1-0). L – Thomas (0-1). Save – McGary (1).
Umpires – Al Fricke (home plate), Bill Carbone (bases).