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Miners blank Brookville Grays, 1-0, in Game 1

July 18, 2011

Miners' Matt Gourley runs off home plate after hitting the game winning double, which scored the only run of Sunday night's game. (Photos by Lizi Arbogast/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

ROSSITER — The Rossiter Miners topped the Brookville Grays, 1-0, Sunday in game one of the second round of the Federation League playoffs.

The Miners notched the second-seed in the league, guaranteeing themselves home-field advantage in their second round against the Grays.

The round is a best-of-seven series format, with the next game being played in Brookville Tuesday.

Both teams received a first-round bye.

The Miners recorded one run on just three hits throughout the ball game, but that, combined with impressive defense and pitching, was enough to win them the ball game.

It wasn't until the sixth inning that Rossiter scored when Matt Gourley had hit a rocket to deep right field, doubling and scoring the game winner.

"They were playing good defense at first," Miners manager Rick Matthews said. "We'd get guys on, but we couldn't get them in. Finally, we got that big hit from Matt that got the run in, so it's a big win."

Matthews was also impressed with his pitcher Braedon Pennington, who threw the complete game shutout.

Pennington allowed only two hits and two walks. He also struck out two batters.

Matthews said that he was worried about Pennington before the game began.

"Braedon's arm had been hurting all day, throwing, so we didn't know how far he would go," Matthews said. "He actually did pretty well."

Matthews is unsure about what he will do with the mound for Tuesday's game, as he has two pitchers going to play triple ABA (American Baseball Association).

"Whoever shows up and whoever wants to throw the ball — I guess we're going to have to do it that way," he said.

Matthews said he thought his team's biggest struggle was leaving runners stranded.

During the first inning, the Miners had two runners in scoring position, neither of which were able to cross home plate.

Rossiter also had two runners stranded during the second and one during the fifth.

"We're just going to have to play more small ball, like bunting and trying to steal more," Matthews said. "Just play small ball, and we have to start hitting the ball better."

Matthews complimented Brookville's catcher Jed Fiscus, who caught two batters stealing at second.

"Jed Fiscus is a heck of a catcher, and it's hard to steal on him," Matthews said after the game. "You just either have to get lucky or go on passed balls, but he's a pretty good catcher, so we don't like to steal too much."

The Miners and the Grays play Game 2 at 6 p.m. Tuesday at McKinley Field in Brookville.

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