DUBOIS, Pa. - Day one of the PSUAC Baseball Championship tournament began on Sunday morning on an overcast, and at times soggy, day. The turf fields at Showers Field in DuBois most certainly saved some games from postponement as a steady mist fell for much of the late morning and early afternoon.
The first game saw Penn State Wilkes-Barre, the East's number one seed, top Penn State Mont Alto out of the West, 7-5. In game two of the day, Penn State DuBois capitalized for a 12-6 win over Penn State Brandywine.
East #1 PSU Wilkes-Barre - 7, West #2 PSU Mont Alto - 5
Wilkes-Barre jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a five-run second inning and managed to fend off Mont Alto to advance in the winner's bracket on Sunday. Wilkes-Barre used a solid effort from Jordan Choman, who pitched four scoreless innings before Mont Alto put up four runs in the fifth to knock him from the game. Mont Alto ultimately would score five in the inning to make it 6-5, but an insurance run from Wilkes-Barre in the sixth made it 7-5, which held up through the final at-bats.
Rob McClay gave Wilkes-Barre its first runs with a two-run double in the second inning before a Tanner Williams at-bat led to an error and two more runs for the home team to make it 4-0. Wilkes-Barre tacked on a fifth run in the frame and would hold that lead for two more innings before pushing across a run on a McClay single in the fifth.
Mont Alto answered in the top half of the sixth with a Jeremiah Younker single to plate two. AJ Millar followed two batters later with a two-run double to left to make it 6-4. An error helped Mont Alto score another run, but they couldn't push across a tying run. Wilkes-Barre then loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth before a hit batter plated their final run of the day.
John Fagotti pitched the final two innings to pick up the save for Wilkes-Barre. McClay and Choman each had two hits for Wilkes-Barre, while Younker and Millar led Mont Alto with two RBI each.
Wilkes-Barre advances to the nightcap on Sunday in the winner's bracket, while Mont Alto will look to stave off elimination at approximately 4:00 p.m. when they play the loser of the PSU DuBois-PSU Brandywine game.
West #1 PSU DuBois - 12, East #3 PSU Brandywine - 6
Despite a forecast for rain showers to let up in early afternoon, they persisted through game two of the day at the appropriately named Showers Field. Brandywine jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after loading the bases before a Nick Wright triple to clear the bases. Wright would finish the day with four RBI for Brandywine, but it wasn't to overcome DuBois.
DuBois, the defending conference and USCAA champions, scored runs in every inning, including four in the first to answer Brandywine's top half. Isaac Stouffer hit a three-run homer to tie it, followed by Brandon Gettig RBI single three batters later. DuBois added two runs in the second, solo runs in the third and fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth to extend their lead to 12-3.
Brandywine used a late rally to close the gap to 12-6 before Jake Sorbera closed the door in the seventh, DuBois' third pitcher of the inning.
Vince McDowell had three hits and three RBI for DuBois. Brandywine outhit the home team 11-10, but DuBois drew nine walks to help their cause.
East #3 PSU Brandywine - 5, West #2 PSU Mont Alto - 3
Even with continuous misty rain with mixed showers the PSUAC Baseball Championship tournament continued. Brandywine was able to fend off elimination with a come from behind victory, using a three-run homer from Ben Mutz in the seventh inning to capture their first win of the weekend.
The loss eliminates Mont Alto from contention while Brandywine moves on to Monday morning's loser's bracket final against the loser of Wilkes-Barre and DuBois.
Mont Alto jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Hunter Martin two-run double. Brandywine starter Joe Hurley settled in, giving up only one more run while striking out seven in a complete game effort. Brandywine managed to salvage his effort, tying the score at 2-2 in the fourth. After Mont Alto's third run in the bottom half of the fourth, Hurley shut them down, setting up the fireworks in the seventh.
With two on and one out, Mutz smashed a home run over the right field fence for a 5-3 Brandywine advantage. Mont Alto would put the tying runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, but a pop out ended Mont Alto's tournament.
Brandywine will play at 11:00 a.m. with a chance to advance to the Championship game for the second consecutive year.
West #1 PSU DuBois – 15, East #1 PSU Wilkes-Barre – 5
DuBois cruised into their second straight PSUAC Baseball Championship game with a 15-5 win over East champ Wilkes-Barre. Despite giving up three runs in the first inning for the second straight game, DuBois answered with two runs of their own.
Wilkes-Barre took a 4-2 lead in the second, but Lance Pennington cracked a three-run home run to make it 5-4 in the bottom half of the inning and DuBois would never look back. Vince McDowell homered in the third to extend the lead to 6-4, before a Brandon Gettig double pushed it to 7-4.
Gettig would double again in the fourth to make it 11-4, before another McDowell blast put the game out of reach. A couple of Wilkes-Barre tack on runs closed the gap, but it wasn’t enough to challenge the defending champions.
Pennington finished with four RBI, while McDowell and Getting each had two hits and three RBI. Wilkes-Barre’s Leroy Fetting led the way with two hits.
Wilkes-Barre moves into the loser’s bracket finals where they’ll face division foe Brandywine with a spot in the championship game on the line. DuBois meets the winner of that game at approximately 1:30 p.m. at Showers Field in DuBois.