ST. MARYS – The St. Marys Little League Junior All-Stars used a strong nine-run first inning to set the stage for their victory over the Ridgway Little League All-Stars Sunday afternoon at Memorial Park. After building a large lead, St. Marys’ batters were able to answer Ridgway’s runs and cruised to a 14-4 victory in five innings.
Dan Singer started on the mound for St. Marys, working two innings and giving up one hit, three walks, and striking out three. Kirk McClain briefly took over in relief in the third inning, giving up two hits and a walk before being replaced by Ross Brennen, who worked two innings of relief, giving up four hits and striking out four. Mitchell Struble worked the final inning for St. Marys, striking out one.
Alex Dattoli stared on the mound for Ridgway, giving up one hit and four walks before being replaced by Josh Roselli, who worked four innings, giving up six hits, walking five, and striking out three. Luke Hoffman worked the final inning, giving up three hits, walking one and striking out one.
St. Marys’ 12 hits were led by a solo home run and a single by Ivan Wortman and a bases-loaded homerun by Jonathan Dippold. Ryan Seelye and Singer both had a double and single, Brennen had three singles, and Tyler Yetzer and Shane Haberberger each had a single.
Ridgway had seven hits in the game, led by a double and single by Mike Sorge. Kevin Benson, Ben MacDonald, Nate Steis, and Jeremy Breier each had singles.
St. Marys started off the top of the first inning with their first two batters walking. A double by Singer scored McClain, and Dippold also received a free pass back to home after two more batters walked. A flyout to left field by Ben Reuscher gave St. Marys their first out of the inning; however, any hope of Ridgway getting out of the bases-loaded jam went away, as a single by Seelye scored Singer and Wortman to increase St. Marys’ lead. Brennen singled and picked up an extra base on an error and Haberberger was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. St. Marys picked up its second out as McClain struck out on his second at-bat of the inning. Ridgway then saw the bases emptied, though not in the way they had hoped, as Dippold hit a bases-loaded homerun to increase St. Marys’ lead to 9-0. A flyout by Singer ended the inning.
With two outs in the bottom half of the inning, MacDonald and Steis both walked, though neither was able to score as Hoffman struck out.
After an early out in the top of the second, Struble, Reuscher and Seelye all walked to load the bases once again for St. Marys. A single by Brennen scored both Struble and Reuscher, with Seelye advancing to third and Brennen picking up an extra base on an error. However, St. Marys was unable to take further advantage of the situation as the next two batters went down in order to end their half of the inning with the score 11-0.
Ridgway finally got on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Dattoli walked to start things off. With two outs, Sorge singled to drive Dattoli home; however, Sorge was left on base as Roselli struck out to end the inning with the score 11-1.
St. Marys again started off the third inning with an early out before once again driving up the score. Singer singled and later scored on a single by Wortman. Wortman also scored to put St. Marys up 13-1. With two outs, Reuscher walked and Seelye doubled to give St. Marys more runners in scoring position; however, Brennen was unable to beat the throw to first, which ended the top half of the inning. In the bottom of the third, Benson singled and MacDonald walked to put runners on base for Ridgway, and the two scored on back-to-back singles by Steis and Hoffman, cutting St. Marys’ lead to 13-3. With one out, Ridgway tried to cut St. Marys’ lead further with a single by Breier, but Steis was out at home to stop their advance and Delhunty then struck out to end the inning with two runners left on base.
The fourth inning was the only one in which St. Marys did not score a run. The team started off strong with a single by Haberberger; however, McClain flied out to center and Haberberger was later thrown out at first to cut the team’s momentum. Dippold walked and later stole second, but was unable to get any farther as Singer flied out to left field to end the top of the inning. Sorge got things moving for Ridgway with a double to start out the bottom of the inning; however, the next two batters went down in order. A single by MacDonald scored Sorge for Ridgway’s final run of the game; however, MacDonald was left stranded as Steis brought out the third out of the inning with the score 13-4.
Wortman made sure the 10-run rule would still be in effect with a solo homerun to start off the top of the fifth inning. Struble walked to give St. Marys another base runner. With one out, Yetzer singled to advance Struble; however, Struble was tagged out at home on a single by Brennen. Haberberger ended the top of the inning with a flyout to left field. With one out in the bottom half of the inning, Ridgway tried to rally, with Dattoli reaching base after being hit by a pitch; however, he was left stranded as the next two batters went down in order to hand St. Marys the 14-4 victory.
With the win, St. Marys improves to 1-1 and will travel to Punxsutawney on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. matchup. The loss was Ridgway’s second and eliminated them from the tournament.