CURWENSVILLE – It wasn’t a true offensive explosion, but the Curwensville Golden Tide baseball team found ways Thursday afternoon to come up with six runs in a 6-1 win over the visiting Elkers of Ridgway.
The Tide had scored just one run in their last three games, 19 innings in all, before crossing home plate six times, breaking a three game losing streak.
Curwensville head coach Denny Johns was certainly glad to see runs and a win, saying, “The win was huge for us. Everyone was down from the last three games, so it was nice to turn a negative stretch into something positive this afternoon.”
Ridgway scored first on a solo home run to left center field by Elker first baseman Josh Mitchell, which turned out to be the only tally Ridgway came up with, as Tide junior hurler Brett Gardner was in command the final six innings to gain his first win of the season.
The Tide knotted the game with a run in the bottom half of the first when shortstop Tanner Elensky walked to lead off the inning and later scored on a Jake Stiles ground out to third base.
Curwensville took control of the contest in the bottom of the third frame, adding two more runs to go out in front 3-1.
Elensky, with one out, actually had struck out, but when Ridgway catcher Tony Leithner dropped the ball the throw to first base was high enabling the Tide junior to safely make it on base.
Kyle Bloom followed with a walk to give Curwensville runners at first and second with still only one out.
Sophomore Stiles lined a single up the middle that plated Elensky with courtesy runner Noah Strickland later scoring on a ground out by Brad Coudriet.
With Curwensville in the lead, Johns said, “It was nice to be in control of a game for a change. Some of our guys battled in key situations at the plate which enabled us to put runs on the board.”
Three more Tide runners would score in the bottom of the sixth inning giving Gardner some breathing room for the final at bat for Ridgway.
Jason Bloom and Travis Lansberry each walked to start the bottom of the sixth and pinch runner Gage Baughman then scored on a single to left field by senior Hunter McCracken.
The Tide had runners on first and second with still no one out when pinch hitter Curt Bloom executed a perfect sacrifice bunt which moved the runners up a base.
Ridgway shortstop JoJo Jaques let one go under his glove for an error with two outs which allowed Lansberry and McCracken to both score the final runs of the game.
Gardner gave up just four hits, struck out seven and walked just two in going the distance.
In the previous two games, Golden Tide hurlers walked a total of 21 opponents, so Gardner’s control was welcome relief and Coach Johns kept it simple and to the point, “I thought that Brett (Gardner) pitched a very smart ballgame. He was focused all game long.”
Ridgway pitcher Ben MacDonald also did well on the mound, even in defeat, giving up only three hits, all singles, while striking out 10 Tide hitters. Unfortunately the four errors and four walks issued didn’t help the Elkers’ cause, dropping the boys from up north to 1-2 on the season.
Even in victory Johns knows his team has a long way to go, “We still need to find the right fix. We have to be much more efficient offensively. Hopefully, this is a start.”
After three home games this week, Curwensville, now 2-5, travels to Brookville for a Friday afternoon date with the Raiders. Game time is 4:15 pm.
RIDGWAY — 1
Josh Lineberger rf 3010, Jesse Reynolds 2b 2000, Josh Mitchell 1b 3111, Ben MacDonald p 3010, Zac McKnight cf 3000, Luke Pierce 3b 3010, Tony Leithner c 2000, Austin Amacher lf 1000, JoJo Jaques ss 2000, TOTALS – 22 1 4 1.
CURWENSVILLE — 6
Tanner Elensky ss 3200, Kyle Bloom c 3100, Noah Strickland cr 0000, Jake B. Stiles 3b 3012, Brad Coudriet lf 3001, Jason Bloom 1b 2100, Gage Baughman pr 0000, Travis Lansberry rf 2110, Hunter McCracken 2b 3111, Brett Gardner p 0000, Alex Olson dh 2000, Curt Bloom ph 0000, Jordan Russell cf 2000, Ricky Magnuson ph 1000, TOTALS – 24 6 3 4.
SCORE BY INNINGS – R H E
RIDGWAY 100 000 0 – 1 4 4
CURWENSVILLE 102 003 x – 6 3 1
ERRORS – Jaques 2, Leithner, Pierce, Gardner. LOB – RIDGWAY – 2; CURWENSVILLE – 5. DP – CURWENSVILLE. HR – Mitchell (1st, solo). SAC – Curt Bloom. SB – McKnight; Elensky 3.
MacDonald 6 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 10 K
Gardner 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
WP – Gardner (1-2) LP – MacDonald
UMPIRES – Lynn Gilham, Scott Viehdorfer
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|3/25||@ Johnsonburg||ppd.||0 – 0|
|3/27||DUBOIS CENTRAL||ppd.||0 – 0|
|4/02||DUBOIS CENTRAL||ppd.||0 – 0|
|4/03||HARMONY||ppd.||0 – 0|
|4/06||@ Harry Combs Classic|
|vs. Central, VA||10 – 11||0 – 1|
|vs. Millbrook, VA||2 – 13||0 – 2|
|4/08||KANE||11 – 1||1 – 2|
|4/10||@ Elk County Catholic||0 – 1||1 – 3|
|4/12||@ Moshannon Valley||ppd.||1 – 3|
|4/15||DUBOIS CENTRAL||1 – 8||1 – 4|
|4/16||BROCKWAY||0 – 3||1 – 5|
|4/18||RIDGWAY||6 – 1||2 – 5|
|4/24||@ DuBois Central|
|5/01||@ Moshannon Valley|
|5/06||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC|