CURWENSVILLE — After having to wait a few days to take to the diamond following Monday’s rain out, the Curwensville Golden Tide were looking to get on the positive side of the scoreboard on Wednesday. Despite the temperatures being slightly cool, the skies were letting the sun’s rays onto the field as the Tide welcomed in the Elk County Catholic Crusaders for a battle of the bats.
For the home team, what they experienced was the Crusaders winning the battle on both sides of the ball. The fast defense kept the Tide away from potential scores, while the offensive bats provided hit after hit, inning after inning. Elk County Catholic utilized 20 hits to knock off Curwensville in a 13-3 rout in just six innings.
The game went only six innings because for the Crusaders, their pitching was lights-out. Gabe Kraus got the start, and the victory thanks to three and two-thirds innings of work that saw just six hits, alongside six strikeouts.
In the first three innings, he yielded only two of those hits, with only two players left on base the entire time.
On the opposite side, Curwensville saw success early, but then would get behind in the count. Austin Lansberry got the start on the mound, and struggled right away. He gave up two hits in the first inning, including an RBI single to Ryan Heary that plated Brad Dippold. Heary came home on a walk by Kraus before the inning came to a close. But Lansberry’s pitch count was high, as after one inning he tossed 30 pitches to the plate.
The second inning wasn’t much different as a single by Eric Gerber started the inning, then a Dippold reached on an error. A walk by Chris O’Leary, followed by a pair of stolen bases, gave David Stauffer enough room to nail a sacrifice fly into left field to bring a third run home. By the third inning, it was already a 3-0 lead.
The third inning was the one where the wheels began starting to come off for Curwensville. Despite a fly out to start, Kraus and Jake Braun then hit to give runners on first and second. Gerber lined out to second to get two outs on the board, but Lansberry then saw trouble. Dippold hit a two-RBI single to left, then O’Leary found the gap between center and right to put runners on the corners. A stolen base then had runners on second and third. Stauffer found enough to get yet another RBI-single in the inning to get the fifth hit, which was enough for coach Tom Harzinski to make a line-up change.
The outfield shifted to the right, as R.J. Olson would then take to the hill. He would get out of the inning quickly as Nate Dacanal hit a line ball to second base for the third out. Unfortunately for Curwensville, it was looking at a 7-0 gap.
If there was an inning where Kraus had a tough outing, it was the fourth inning because that was the only inning Curwensville’s bats would light up.
A walk by Jake Terry started things off, then Olson aired a 1-1 pitch for a single to deep center. With runners on first and second, Hunter Lancaster struck huge as he nailed an 0-2 pitch in the gap between second and third, bringing Terry home for the Tide’s first run of the game.
Bryce Timko then brought runners to the corners with a deep single to right field. Lansberry would plate two more with his RBI-single to make it 7-3. With runners in scoring position, Kraus was in a bit of a jam but then struck out both Austin Butlin and Avery Francisco. But after his walk of Strickland, his afternoon was done.
Anthony Dattoli would come in to take over, and got out of the inning after two pitches thanks to a line out to center field.
The lone run in the fourth inning came on Braun’s RBI-double to plate Ryan Brennan, increasing the lead to 8-3
With neither team scoring in the fifth inning, the sixth ultimately determined the outcome. The reason: Elk County Catholic would get their bats in action for the entire line-up.
Brennan started it off with a single to shallow left, then Decanal nailed a line hit down the third-base line to put runners on first and second. A bunt by Kraus loaded the based for Braun, who found the gap in left-center to bring home Brennan to increase the lead to 9-3. Dattoli had a shallow hit to the infield that was mishandled by Terry, bringing Dacanal to the plate. Dippold tried to keep the momentum going, and made it to first, bringing Braun to the plate. Dattoli was forced out at second, but the lead was 11-3 at that point.
O’Leary struck out on a full count, but Stauffer ultimately had the biggest hit of the entire game. The Crusader catcher showed he’s got the upper body strength when needed with a 1-0 pitch that was nailed deep to the outfield allowing both Braun and Dippold to make it around to the plate to make it 13-3.
A ground out by Timko, a strikeout by Lansberry, and a fly out by Butlin was the finish that gave Elk County Catholic the road victory, and move Curwensville to 0-3 in the season.
The Tide now will begin a five-game road trip that will span the next two weeks. That streak of road games begins on Friday as Curwensville will travel to face West Branch. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.
SCORE BY INNING
Elk County Catholic 214 105 – 13 20 1
Curwensville 000 300 – 3 6 2
Elk County Catholic – 13
Dippold SS 4431, O’Leary RF 4112, Stauffer C 5024, Heary 1B 4121, Brennan 3B 4230, Dacanal 2B 3110, Kraus P 2111, Braun CF 4232, Dattoli LF 1110, Gerber DH 2010, Delaney PH 1010, Singer PH 1011. Totals 35 13 20 12.
Curwensville – 3
Strickland CF 2001, VonGunden 3000, Ja. Terry SS 1100, Olson LF-P 3110, Lancaster C 3121, Timko 1B 3010, Lansberry P 3021, Butlin 3B 2000, Francisco DH 2000, Jo. Terry RF 0000. Totals 22 3 6 3.
SB: Dippold (5), O’Leary (2), Heary. CS: Lancaster. LOB: ECC 6, Curwensville 2.
ECC: Kraus-3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 K, 2 BB; Dattoli-2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 K, 1 BB.
Curwensville: Lansberry-2.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 K, 5 BB; Olson-3.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 K, 0 BB.
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|3/28||@ Philipsburg-Osceola||3 – 18||0 – 1|
|3/31||ST. MARYS||1 – 4||0 – 2|
|4/04||@ Johnsonburg||ppd.||0 – 2|
|4/06||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC||3 – 13||0 – 3|
|4/08||@ West Branch|
|4/19||DUBOIS CENTRAL CATH.|
|5/04||@ St. Marys|
|5/12||@ DuBois Central Catholic|
|5/16||@ Elk County Catholic|