DuBois beats the rain, and the Miners, leads series 3-0
DUBOIS — Kevin Gnacinski pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits, and the DuBois Rockets beat the approaching storm clouds to win Game 3 of the Federation League championship over the Rossiter Miners, 3-0, Thursday night in DuBois.
With the win, DuBois took a 3-0 series lead, and needs just one more victory to clinch the championship for the second straight season.
Rossiter's inability to muster up any offense frustrated manager Rick Matthews.
"We aren't hitting," he said. "That's been the story since we played Brookville. Every year we get here, and we can't hit the ball like we did in the previous series. I don't know if the guys are getting too much pressure on themselves, or if they're just tired of playing baseball. I just don't know."
Despite the three-game deficit, though, Matthews says Rossiter isn't ready to give up, yet.
"We're down three games to none, and it's going to be hard to come back, but we're not throwing in the towel," he said. "We're obviously going to come out Saturday and hopefully hit the ball."
Rossiter received its best start of the championship series from Sean Smith, who pitched six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. Two of those hits were solo home runs by Kasey Clinton in the fifth and Jon Kemmer in the sixth.
DuBois' first run came in the first inning when leadoff hitter Mario Gregorio walked, advanced to second on a groundout by Kemmer and scored on an RBI single by Sean Zimmerman.
"Sean pitched a heck of a game for us," Matthews said of Smith's performance. "I figured he would. He pitched pretty well against these guys earlier this year. He throws a good off-speed mix to keep them guessing. Even with a pitcher like Sean, though, you're expecting the other team to score. You've got to score some runs to win."
Rossiter hopes to turn the table in the series with its second home game Saturday at 5:30 p.m after a night off tonight.
"We never play very good up here," Matthews said. "That's no excuse, though. We'll come back with an attitude to win, and we're going to be at home, so we have that going for us."
The Rockets captured last year's Federation League title in Rossiter, and the Miners are hoping to prevent that from happening again on its own turf.
"I told the guys we better show up an extra half-hour early," Matthews said. "Maybe getting some good batting practice in will help."