Grays best Miners in battle atop Fed League standings
BROOKVILLE — With the regular season winding down, the Rossiter Miners, Brookville Grays and DuBois Rockets are in a tough battle for the top three playoff slots. With the Miners' 5-2 loss to the Grays Monday night, they now have a 12-6 record that will most likely place them as the third seed.
The Grays improved to 14-5, putting them one loss behind the Rockets (14-4).
The Miners were able to grab a run early in the contest but were unable to build any type of scoring momentum.
They batted first with Jacob Stumpf leading things off. He opened the game with blast to left that enabled him to round two bases.
Kyle Neal followed by advancing Stumpf to second but put himself out 4-3, and Pete Meterko picked up the first RBI of the night with his sac-fly to center field. The third out came from Tyler Skerkavich being putout 4-3, but Rossiter was up 1-0.
Miners' pitcher Christian Muth was able to contain the Grays early in the game. He pitched the entire game, throwing three strikeouts, walking four and alloweingfive runs on four hits.
Muth kept Brookville off the scoreboard for the first two innings. He gave up one hit to Rick Shaffer, who was the first batter he faced. After that, he set down the next six.
Brookville matched Rossiter's stellar defense during the second inning and put three down in order.
Muth opened the third inning by crushing a double to center field, and Billy Fegley advanced him with his grounder to second that retired him 4-3. Stumpf followed by popping out to third baseman Kent Shick, and Neal ended the inning being putout 5-3, leaving Muth stranded.
The Grays were able to tie the game in the third inning after Joe Galbraith's strike- out. Zac Roller was able to reach base due to some errant field work by first baseman Tyler Skerkavich. Shaffer was then walked to reach first, and Roller moved up a base due to a wild pitch while Mike Sedor was at bat. Sedor brought Roller home on a 4-3 putout, and the third out came from Cole Cook being putout 6-3. The game was tied at one.
Rossiter took the lead again in the fourth inning with Meterko opening with a crank to center that let him reach first. Meterko was putout via a fielder's choice when Skerkavich grounded to second, and Skerkavich suffered the same fate when Braedon Pennington grounded to second as well.
There were two outs when Jordan Mesoraco stepped up to the plate, but he didn't feel the pressure and crushed a double to center field that brought Pennington home.
Austin Furman batted next, and he was putout 4-3 to end the inning with Rossiter up 2-1.
Brookville came alive when they stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning. Jed Fiscus was walked to reach first. Shick followed up with a blast down the right field line good enough for two bases.
Dan Buzzard then gave Brookville the lead when he smacked a shot to left field that brought both Fiscus and Shick across home plate.
Buzzard attempted to steal second when Korry Lindemuth was at bat, but was tagged out.
Lindemuth was walked to reach first before Galbraith and Roller provided the next two outs to end the inning.
Brookville had grabbed a 3-2 lead — one it would not lose from then on.
Rossiter was unable to score any more runs and only got one more hit in the game off Skekavich's bat in the sixth inning.
"We just weren't hitting tonight," said Miners manager Jim Dunlap. "When we hit the ball it was right at somebody, and he (Bell) pitched a good game; we made a couple of mistakes in the field, and that gave them the game," he said.
Brandon Bell pitched five solid innings. He threw four strikeouts, no walks and allowed only two runs off four hits.
Bell was relieved by Glenn Stewart at the start of the sixth, and Stewart threw two strikeouts, walked one and gave up no runs on one hit in the two innings he pitched.
The Grays were able to extend their lead to 5-2 in the fifth inning when Sedor provided a single and Shick grabbed an RBI to seal the victory.
The game ended with Rossiter going down four-and-out.
The Rossiter Miners face the Bigler Buccos (1-18) tonight at the Bigler Community Field at 6 p.m.
They will play their final game of the regular season against the DuBois Rockets (14-4) at Shaffer Field Thursday at 6 p.m.