Elkers rally for extra inning victory over Elk County Catholic

Two brothers had Ridgway's only two hits which led to Ridgway's only two runs of the game and one victory for the Elker baseball team. Sam and Josh Roselli had RBI singles in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively as Ridgway was able to secure a 2-1, 8-inning win over Elk County Catholic Wednesday afternoon at Sandy Beach Recreational Park. "I guess it was a good day for the Roselli family all the way around," Ridgway coach Mark Morelli said. Josh Roselli hit a 2-out flare which dropped just over shortstop for the Crusaders which allowed Jesse Reynolds to score the winning run from second base. After a 5-3 groundout and a strikeout, Reynolds was able to reach second base on an ECC throwing error trying to get Reynolds out at first. "That's baseball, that's execution when you need it," Morelli said. "That's something we were missing the last couple games that we lost. We weren't hitting, we weren't doing well at all. Anytime you're down 1-0, anything can happen. It takes one hit, one baserunner and you got a tie game. To our kids' credit, we hung in there." In the bottom of the seventh, Josh Mitchell led off with a walk. Mitchell was able to move to second on a passed ball. After a strikeout, Sam Roselli was able to single into center field to score Mitchell and tie the game at one. It also broke up a bid for a no-hitter from Jack Herzing as Herzing had no-hit the Elkers through 6 1-3 innings. Herzing finished with 14 strikeouts for the Crusaders. Pat Brennen opened the game with a long 1-out double to left center field for the Crusaders. After a groundout, ECC was able to get the first run of the game off of a hard hit ball by Ivan Wortman and a subsequent misplay in left field which would turn out to be Elk County Catholic's lone run of the game. Ridgway had a strong chance in the home half of the first inning to knot the score. Reynolds and Josh Roselli walked to lead off the game for the Elkers. Herzing was able to get a flyout to left and two straight strikeouts to escape the threat and strand two Ridgway runners on base. The two consecutive strikeouts would be a start of a tear through Ridgway's lineup as Herzing went through a stretch striking out 10 of 11 Ridgway hitters, including striking out the side in the second and the fourth innings. While Herzing was striking out Elkers, Mitchell had much the same performance for Ridgway, finishing with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game victory. "When you get a pitcher's duel like that with the way they were throwing, one play, one hit, one miscue can decide the game," Morelli said. "Josh kept us in the game. He's had some bad luck with the last two games where some breaks didn't go our way. It's a well-deserved win, he's a big part of our team." The Crusaders threatened to add to the 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Wortman walked to lead off the inning and Joe McLaughlin followed with a single. After a flyout, Brock McCullough singled to center field. The relay throw was in time to get Wortman out on a play at the plate and it kept the lead at 1-0. Morelli said the relay from center fielder Zac McKnight to Reynolds at shortstop to Ben MacDonald at catcher was a big play in the game. "I think the other crucial thing of this game was in the fourth inning when Zac McKnight got the ball back in to Jesse Reynolds and he pegged out the runner at home," Morelli said. "That was a huge play for us."The Crusaders threatened in the eighth as Dan Singer walked with one out. Wortman singled up the middle to put runners at first and second but Mitchell was able to get a 4-3 and a 1-3 groundout to end the ECC threat in extra innings. McCullough reached on a walk in the second inning with one out but was stranded at second. Joe McLaughlin had the same thing happen in the sixth. Brennen was the only player on either team to have multiple hits, he finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. "Both teams played hard, competitive baseball and battled back and forth for eight innings," Morelli said. "If you're a baseball purist and you're a fan and you love coming to watch a baseball game, these are the types of games you like to watch." Ridgway (4-5) is scheduled to host Brockway next Tuesday at 4 p.m. while ECC hosts St. Marys at 4:15 p.m. on Friday. "This is a huge eye-opener for our kids," Morelli said. "They should be able to pick up a lot of confidence with this win. Hopefully, this will carry on the rest of the season. Last year, it took us 19 games to win four. This year, this is our ninth game and this is our fourth win for the year. This is baseball, it's ups and downs and inconsistencies and stuff like that. There's going to be games where you get a big win and there's other games that tend to be heartbreaking losses."