ST. MARYS – The Elk County Catholic Crusader baseball team earned their first win of the season with an 11-2 victory over the Brookville Blue Raiders. Originally scheduled to be an away game for the Crusaders, the game was moved to Berwind Park after Brookville's field was determined to be unplayable.
"They played well," said ECCHS coach Father Eric Vogt of the Crusaders' effort. "They got the lead and they kept it and I think Jack (Herzing) set the tone. I think he had like seven out of nine strikeouts. He set the tone for the game. We just had some big hits."
He added that the team's effort in the sixth inning put the game away.
"We hit the ball better today. We were ready to play more outside, I think," Vogt said. "Being outside is the key. It was a good team effort. I hope it's the first of some more [wins] to come, but we'll take them one by one."
The Crusaders had 13 hits in the contest. Brock McCullough hit a home run and a single, Luke Daghir had two triples and a single, Zac Brody had two singles, and Ricky Pearsall, Eric Wehler, Ben Daghir, Herzing, Joe Childs, and Josh Feldbauer each had a single.
Herzing started on the mound for the Crusaders and worked four innings, giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Luke Daghir worked the remaining three innings of relief, giving up five hits, no walks, and striking out six.
Ryan Zimmerman started on the mound for Brookville and worked three innings, giving up six hits, walking two, and striking out two. Tyler Dombrowski worked three innings of relief, giving up seven hits, walking two, and striking out four.
Brookville opened the game with Herzing walking lead-off batter Dustin Dombrowski. The next three batters, Seth Connor, Zimmerman and Jared Heschke, went down in order, leaving Dombrowski on base. The Crusaders opened their half of the inning with Pearsall being thrown out at first. Wehler reached first on a single and scored on a triple by Luke Daghir, who later scored to put the Crusaders up 2-0. Ben Daghir was thrown out at first for the Crusaders' second out of the inning, Herzing walked and Joe McLaughlin was thrown out at first to end the inning, leaving one man on base.
The Raiders went down in order in the top of the second inning. Brody singled to start off the bottom of the second inning for the Crusaders, but was left on base after the next three batters went down in order.
Brookville again went down in order in the top of the third inning. Eric Wehler was thrown out at first in the Crusaders' half of the inning, but Luke Daghir got things moving with a single and then advanced to second after Ben Daghir walked. A single by Jack Herzing scored Luke Daghir. Ben Daghir was also later able to score. McLaughlin flyed out to right field for the second out of the inning. Another single by Brody scored Herzing, and Kyle Schneider was thrown out at first to end the inning with the Crusaders up 5-0.
The Raiders finally got on the board in the the fourth inning, when Connor scored on a single by Zane Hackett, making the score 5-1. The Crusaders left one man on base in their half of the inning.
In the fifth inning, both teams left a man on base and did not score any runs. Brookville cut the Crusaders' lead to 5-2 in the top of the sixth when Heschke scored, but Elk Catholic answered in a big way in the bottom half of the inning by scoring six runs to seal the victory. Kyle Schneider got things started by singling and he later stole second and then scored on a single by Pearsall. Pearsall also stole second and scored on a triple by Luke Daghir. A single by Ben Daghir scored Luke. Pat Brennen walked and then a home run by McCullough also scored Ben Daghir and Brennen. The Crusaders ended the inning with two men left on base.
After a single by Tyler Dombrowski to start the top of the seventh inning, Luke Daghir struck out the next three batters for the Raiders, giving Elk the 11-2 victory.
Elk Catholic, now 1-1 on the season, will travel to Ridgway today to take on the Elkers in a game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Sandy Beach Recreational Park. The junior varsity contest is scheduled to follow at 5 p.m. The game opened the season for Brookville and the Raiders are now 0-1.