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The Elk County Catholic Crusader baseball team never gave up on Wednesday afternoon during a tough game against the DuBois Central Catholic Cardinals in a contest that was originally scheduled to be played in DuBois, but was then moved to Berwind Park in St. Marys. Down 12-10 headed into the bottom of the seventh, the Crusaders rallied to come back from a 13-12 victory, with the winning run driven in on a walk-off single by Joe McLaughlin.
"They swung the bat tonight," ECC coach Tom Zampogna said of his squad. "They didn't give up tonight, so that was what helped them out a lot. There were a lot of errors on both sides. DuBois didn't give up either, though. They were down 9-4 and came back and scored six runs. Our kids kept swinging the bat. They kept battling, so they did what they had to do."
Both teams scored three runs in the first inning and one in the second. ECC briefly took the lead with five runs in the third, but DCC came right back with six in the fourth and another in the fifth to reclaim the advantage. Elk Catholic recorded another run of their own in the sixth. The Cardinals drove in their final run in the seventh, while ECC came back to score three to claim the win.
Ivan Wortman started on the mound for the Crusaders, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out one. Joe Childs worked one inning, giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out one. Brandon Schlimm worked the final four innings, giving up three hits, walking two, and striking out three.
Cody Gulvas was the starting pitcher for the Cardinals. He worked two and two thirds innings, giving up 10 hits, walking one, and striking out one. Phil Myers worked two and one third innings, giving up one hit, walking three, and striking out two. Alex Allender worked the final two innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.
The Crusaders were led offensively by Ivan Wortman with a home run and a double. Dan Singer had three singles. Joe McLaughlin and Brock McCullough each had a double and a single. Vincent Jacob and Jack Herzing both had a pair of singles, and Ben Cortina doubled.
The Cardinals were led by Cody Gulvas with a pair of doubles.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Mark Walker walked for DCC and advanced on a double by Gulvas. A double by Ben Miknis scored both Walker and Gulvas, and Dan Sayers, courtesy runner for Miknis, scored on a single by Phil Myers. Anthony Pyne brought about the third out on a fielder's choice that saw him unable to beat the throw to first, leaving DCC with a 3-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Vincent Jacob struck out to bring about ECC's first out. McCullough and Singer both singled and scored on a home run by Wortman. McLaughlin flied out to third base to bring about the Crusaders' second out. Herzing singled and Pat Brennen beat the throw to first on a fielder's choice, but the inning ended tied at 3-all as Cortina flied out to right field.
The Cardinals briefly retook the lead in the second inning as Dom Goldbach reached base on an error and, after two outs, scored on a single by Pat Sayers. Walker was not able to beat the throw to first, ending the top half of the inning with DuBois Central back on top 4-3. ECC tied things up again in the bottom half of the inning. Wes Brennen reached base on an error, advanced on a single by Jacob, and scored on a fielder's choice that saw Singer thrown out at first to make the score 4-4.
In the top of the third, Gulvas walked to give the Cardinals a base runner. Miknis struck out, and then DCC's momentum was briefly stalled with a double play by ECC. Myers hit a shot to the shortstop, who made a quick throw to second to get Gulvas out and then Myers could not beat the throw to first, giving ECC a chance to take their first lead of the contest in the bottom half of the inning. The Crusaders took advantage of the situation by putting up five runs. McLaughlin got things rolling with a double and scored on a single by Herzing. Herzing advanced on a sacrifice by Brennen for the first out. A double by Cortina scored Herzing. Joe Childs grounded to third and could not beat the throw to first. Jacob walked and scored on a double by McCullough that also scored Cortina. Singer singled, scoring McCullough. DuBois Central changed pitchers as Wortman came up to bat. He struck out, but the third strike was dropped; however, he was still ruled out due to interference. Still, ECC took a 9-4 lead into the fourth inning.
DCC answered right away. Pyne singled, Goldbach reached on an error, and Ayden Hanes walked to load the bases. Alex Allender reached on an error that saw Pyne score. A single by Sayers scored both Goldbach and Hanes. Walker reached on an error that saw Allender make it home. Gulvas walked. Miknis struck out. Myers reached base on a fielder's choice that saw Gulvas thrown out at second and Sayers score. Another single by Pyne scored Walker, and Pyne was later thrown out by the catcher trying to steal second, ending the top half of the inning with DCC back on top 10-9. With two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Brennen made it on base on an error and Cortina walked. Cortina was thrown out stealing second, ending the inning.
Goldbach reached base on an error to start the fifth inning and scored as Allender flied out to right field to bring about the second out, making DCC's lead 11-9. The Crusaders added a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning as Jacob singled and later scored on a fielder's choice by Ivan Wortman, making the score 11-10.
Neither team scored in the sixth inning.
DuBois Central added their final run in the top of the seventh after Goldbach again reached base on an error and scored on a double by Allender, giving the Cardinals a 12-10 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Jacob reached base on an error. With one out, Singer singled. A double by Wortman scored Jacob, and Singer and Wortman both scored on a walk-off single by Joe McLaughlin to give ECC the 13-12 victory.
The Crusaders are now 3-1 on the season and will be back in action on Friday, April 13 when they travel to Bradford to take on the Owls in a 4:15 p.m. match-up.
Alex Allender 5-1-1, Pay Sayers 5-1-2, Mark Walker 4-2-0, Cody Gulvas 2-1-2, Ben Miknis 4-0-1, Phil Myers 3-0-1, Dan Sayers 1-1-0, Anthony Pyne 4-1-2, Dom Goldbach 4-4-0, Ayden Hanes 2-1-0. Totals 34-12-9.
Vincent Jacob 4-3-2, Brock McCullough 5-2-2, Dan Singer 5-2-3, Ivan Wortman 5-2-2, Joe McLaughlin 4-1-2, Jack Herzing 4-1-2, Pat Brennen 3-0-0, Bryan Haberberger 1-0-0, Ben Cortina 3-1-1, Wes Brennen 1-1-0, Joe Childs 1-0-0, Brandon Schlimm 1-0-0. Totals 37-13-14.
Score by innings R
DCC 310 610 1 12
ECC 315 010 3 13