DUBOIS — Twice Wednesday, the Punxsy baseball team scored the go-ahead run or runs in the top of an inning. Also twice, DuBois was there to answer soon thereafter.
Unfortunately for the Chucks, DuBois' final go-ahead runs came in the last inning, as Dom Kriner's two-run, walk-off single pushed the Beavers past Punxsy at Showers' Field in DuBois, 4-3.
Punxsy (6-7) scored once in the fourth inning, and DuBois (9-4) followed with two in the bottom half of the inning. The Chucks then edged ahead with two runs in the sixth before Kriner's one-out, first-pitch single to left field scored the tying and game-winning runs.
"It's unfortunate, it stings, and I told the kids that it should sting. That means you want it," Punxsy manager Mike Dickey said. "That's a playoff-tester right there. We feel like we let one get away, but we'll be better for it."
A leadoff single by Derek Heckathorne in the bottom of the seventh started the DuBois rally. Anthony Vizza then put down a bunt that Punxsy pitcher Joe Pisano threw into center field in an attempt to get the lead runner.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Nate Liddle bunted them both up a base before Kriner's shot to left bounced to Punxsy left fielder Luke Janocha. Janocha was unable to field the ball cleanly, and Vizza scored easily.
"You have to give them credit," Dickey said. "Then again, if we make a play on the (first sacrifice) bunt, we're still playing right now."
Liddle earned the win for the Class AAAA Beavers. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning and allowed a hit.
Garret Peterson finished with the no-decision, though he struck out 10 Punxsy batters and surrendered three runs (one earned) during six innings.
Last Thursday, Peterson threw a complete game shutout during a 2-0 victory over Punxsy's District IX Class AAA rival, St. Marys. He struck out 13 batters during that game.
Punxsy's Tyler Skerkavich singled and scored on a Brodi Lowmaster single in the fourth inning. Two Punxsy errors and two DuBois hits helped the Beavers jump ahead 2-1 in the bottom half of the fourth. Clayton Read hit an RBI single during that inning for DuBois.
Jordan Mesoraco and Skerkavich each reached on an error in the sixth inning when Lowmaster was intentionally walked following a Pisano strikeout. With the bases loaded, Janocha sliced a two-run single that put the Chucks ahead 3-2.
"We battled. I was proud of the way we battled back," Dickey said. "We got down against a tough pitcher and got our guy a lead."
Punxsy, however, couldn't add to its slim lead in the sixth, as Jamie Bush and Neal struck out to end the inning. Dickey said that the little things — situational hitting, swinging at bad pitches and looking at strike three — are what cost the Chucks Wednesday.
"In baseball, it always comes down to the little things. Early in the game, we missed some signs that might have taken us out of a couple of innings," he said. "In a game like this, you have to capitalize on your chances, because you don't get too many. We capitalized somewhat, but we didn't quite maximize."
Pisano pitched a complete game for Punxsy. He gave up eight hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out three.
Both Lowmaster and Janocha singled twice.
The Chucks hope to end a three-game losing streak when they host DuBois CC at 4:15 p.m. today.
"The good thing about this is we get the bad taste out of our mouth, and we get to play tomorrow," Dickey said. "Hopefully, we're going to come out with a fire, a little hurt and a little hunger in our gut to go out there and play hard."