CURWENSVILLE — After having to battle both the opposition and the elements in the season-opener on Monday, the Curwensville Golden Tide baseball team was already looking to put the loss in the rear-view mirror. Knowing that a second game was on the horizon, it was a chance to recoup and move forward. With the Tide being on their home field, it also gave extra motivation to protect their diamond.
In the opposing dugout, the St. Mary’s Flying Dutch were ready to get their bats in gear for the 2016 season, and seemed poised to do so.
Despite the threatening skies and although some rain drops did fall, the two teams took to the field and gave the fans a duel that would go right up to the final inning. Unfortunately for Curwensville, the bats went cold when it mattered most, as they fell in their home opener to St. Mary’s in a 4-1 final.
Both squads put in excellent efforts on the mound, with both starting pitchers lasting two-thirds of the game. St. Mary’s would look to Hunter Fantechi as their starter, and his arm never disappointed. In 59 pitches over five innings, Fantechi allowed only three hits, one walk, and one run to secure the victory. On the opposite side, Curwensville’s Bryce Timko had just as strong an effort in a losing cause. The sophomore pitched a strong five and one-third innings, striking out four while only walking three.
Timko’s first inning started out well with a strikeout to Tim Beimel, but with a single and double to Aaron Piccolo and Jeffery Wehler, he found himself in a jam early on. But, his team got him out of the jam with a ground out and line out to finish the inning.
Fantchi’s first inning was similar, just nearly in reverse order, as he saw a ground out at a base hit to start the inning. But, a ground out to Jake Terry and then a strikeout by RJ Olson closed the inning out with no score.
The second inning for St. Mary’s is where things picked up. Timko was ahead in the out count just two batters in. But things quickly changed with a walk of Hayden Tettis. Brendon Rolley singled to deep left, putting runners on first and second. One batter later, Beimel struck with a hit to shallow left, plating Tettis for the first run of the game.
Piccolo then followed it up with another RBI-single to the gap in left center, bringing Rolley home for the second run. Finally, Wehler would fly out to right field to close out the inning, but Curwensville found itself down two runs early in the going.
Neither team plated another run until the sixth. After a ground out by Tettis, Rolley would hit a single deep into center field, then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Timko. Beimel then hit an RBI single that brought in Rolley, making the score 3-0, and ultimately ending the day for Timko at the mound. Noah Strickland took over pitching duties, while Timko moved to first, and Zach McClure moved from first to third. Strickland finished the inning with a walk, a fly out to center, and then a strike out to hold the gap at three runs.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Curwensville got on the scoreboard. After Strickland was walked, Garrett Shaw had Curwensville’s biggest hit of the game. With a full count, he connected on an inside curve that took flight down the left field line, nearly getting over the fence. Strickland made it all the way home from first, while Shaw was held at second. The lead was cut to 3-1, and momentum seemed to be coming into the hands of the Tide.
In the final inning, things got interesting. After a ground out to start, Nate Beimel would be walked, and then Matt Bellina would single to shallow center. Tettis would pop out to Terry for the second out, but then Rolley’s at-bat would be one to end the inning on a rather unusual note. After a pair of stolen bases put runners on second and third, the 2-1 pitch connected to second, but the ball was mishandled by Timko at first, allowing a run to score. While Timko was still fighting with the ball, Bellina tried to make it home, but Timko got the handle in time and threw a strike into the waiting glove of Hunter Lancaster. There was no collision, but the home plate umpire called the final out, sending the game to the bottom half of the final inning to decide the contest.
Timko took the lead-off position, and was the first out of the inning via groundout to second. Austin Lansberry would follow and saw strike three get called on a swing. With two outs on the board, Avery Francisco came in to pinch-hit, hoping to get a runner on base. On a 2-2 pitch, relief pitcher Nate Beimel locked down the save on a swing-and-miss, closing out two innings of work with his third strikeout, handing Curwensville back-to-back losses.
Now at 0-2, Curwensville hopes to get their first win of the season this Monday as they travel to Johnsonburg.
SCORE BY INNING
St. Mary’s 020 001 1 – 4 9 1
Curwensville 000 001 0 – 1 3 2
St. Mary’s – 4
T. Beimel CF 4022, Piccolo RF 4021, Wehler SS 4010, M. Beimel C 4010, Fantechi P 4000, N. Beimel 1B 4100, Bellina 3B 4010, Tettis 2B 4100, Rolley LF 4220. TOTALS 36 4 9 3.
Curwensville – 1
Strickland CF 3100, Shaw LF 3021, Ja. Terry SS 3010, Olson 3B 3000, Lancaster C 3000, Timko P 3000, Lansberry DH 3010, McClure 1B 2000, Vongunden 2B 2000, Francisco PH 1000. TOTALS 26 1 3 1.
SB: T. Beimel, Piccolo, Wehler, M. Beimel, Fantechi, N. Beimel, Bellina, Rolley/Shaw
ROE: Fantechi, Rolley/Lansberry
ERRORS: N. Beimel/Terry, VonGunden
St. Mary’s: Fantechi-5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO; N. Beimel-2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO.
Curwensville: Timko-5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO; Strickland-1.9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.
L: Timko (0-1)
S: N. Beimel
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|3/28||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||3 – 18||0 – 1|
|3/31||ST. MARYS||1 – 4||0 – 2|
|4/06||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC|
|4/08||@ West Branch|
|4/19||DUBOIS CENTRAL CATH.|
|5/04||@ St. Marys|
|5/12||@ DuBois Central Catholic|
|5/16||@ Elk County Catholic|