ST. MARYS – The Elk County Catholic Crusaders downed the DuBois Central Catholic Cardinals 17-1 in four innings on Tuesday afternoon at Berwind Park, winning the game on a walk-off double by Ben Daghir.
Pat Brennen went the distance for the Crusaders, working all four innings and giving up one hit, walking four, and striking out five.
"I thought Pat pitched a pretty reasonable game. He pitched pretty well for four innings. We just got some breaks and took advantage of them. We got some runs across the board," said ECCHS coach Fr. Eric Vogt.
Cody Gulvas started on the mound for the Cardinals and worked two and one third innings, giving up four hits, walking two, and striking out one. Alex Allender worked the final one and two thirds innings, giving up nine hits.
The Crusaders had 13 hits in the game. Ben Daghir had three doubles; Pat Brennen had a double; and Ricky Pearsall, Eric Wehler, Brock McCullough, Jake Cortina, Zac Brody, Sam Schneider, Joe McLaughlin, Josh Feldbauer and Jack Herzing each had a single.
The Cardinals had one hit, a single by Gulvas in the third inning.
Vogt noted that the Cardinals have a very young team.
"Next year they'll probably be a whole lot better," he said.
DuBois Central started off the top half of the first inning with Allender flying out to shortstop and Patrick Sayers grounding to third and being unable to beat the throw to first. Ben Miknis and Gulvas both walked, but a hit by Mark Walker set up a fielder's choice that saw Gulvas thrown out at third, leaving one man on base. In the bottom half of the inning, Pearsall grounded to the shortstop and Wehler flied out to second base. Luke Daghir walked and scored on a double by Ben Daghir to put the Crusaders on the board 1-0. Ben Daghir was later thrown out trying to steal third to end the inning.
The Cardinals went down in order in the top of the second inning. McCullough singled to start the bottom half of the inning and later stole second base. Cortina struck out and Kyle Schneider grounded to shortstop and was unable to beat the throw to first, but not before advancing McCullough to third. An error on the shortstop allowed Brennen to reach first and also scored McCullough, putting the Crusaders up 2-0. Zac Brody ended the inning when he was thrown out at first after grounding to third, leaving Brennen on base.
Mike Krajewski walked to start off the top of the third for the Cardinals, and later advanced to second on an error. Allender flied out to right field. Sayers was thrown out at first after grounding to the shortstop, but not before allowing Krajewski to advance to third. Miknis walked and a single by Gulvas scored Krajewski, cutting the Crusaders' lead to 2-1. The top half of the inning ended when Walker hit a line drive to third base, leaving two men on base. In the bottom half of the inning, Pearsall reached base on an error by the third baseman and later stole second. A single by Wehler scored Pearsall. Luke Daghir attempted to make a sacrifice bunt to advance Wehler; however, a two-base error on the first baseman allowed Daghir to advance to third and also scored Wehler. Ben Daghir walked and later stole second. McCullough flied out to left field. A single by Cortina scored both Daghirs to put the Crusaders up 6-1. After a pitching change by the Cardinals, Kyle Schneider flied out to shortstop. A double by Pat Brennen scored Sam Schneider, who was pinch running for Cortina. A single by Brody scored Brennen. Pearsall again advanced to first on an error by the shortstop, scoring Josh Feldbauer, who was the courtesy runner for Brody. Wehler also advanced to first on an error by the shortstop, scoring Pearsall in the process to give Elk a 10-1 lead. Luke Daghir ended the inning when he was thrown out at first after grounding to third, leaving Wehler on base.
The top of the fourth inning saw the Cardinals go down in order. In the bottom half of the inning Ben Daghir started things off with a double and Herzing singled. A single by Sam Schneider scored Daghir and a single by Feldbauer scored Herzing. Brennen flied out to shortstop. A single by McLaughlin scored Feldbauer. A single by Pearsall scored McLaughlin. Wehler advanced to first on an error by the shortstop and Bryan Haberberger advanced to first on an error by the third baseman. A walk-off double by Daghir scored both Pearsall and Wehler, ending the game 17-1 in favor of the Crusaders.
ECC, now 14-3 on the season, will take on the St. Marys Area Flying Dutchmen today in a match-up scheduled for at 4:15 p.m. start at Berwind Park. Elk Catholic will be the home team in the contest, which will also be senior night for both teams.
"It's always tough against a hometown rival, so it will be fun. It's always fun to play the team across the hill. We'll look forward to that," Vogt said.