BROOKVILLE — It was a difficult day for the Brookville Grays, as they struggled against the Rossiter Miners before eventually losing Wednesday night in Federation League play.
Brookville fell behind 5-0 in the third inning before it attempted to stage a comeback. The Grays were able to cut the lead to two with a strong third, but it proved to be not enough.
The Miners went on to win it 6-4, improving their record to 5-5, while Brookville fell to 6-4.
Brookville manager Bob McCullough said the Grays' six-day break affected his team.
"I think being off six days in a row didn't help us any," McCullough said. "We had some practice, but we couldn't get everybody here. That probably showed."
Grays starting pitcher Jeremy Fitzgerald had difficulties early on, as he gave up three runs on three hits. He was pulled before the first inning's end and was replaced by Rob Jewett.
"I started Fitzgerald, and he didn't have his good stuff tonight. He knew it right away," McCullough said. "He threw outs, but we didn't play the (pop ups) very well. The fact that those three runners got on base, and they scored; that's the difference in the ball game."
Jewett pitched four innings and gave up two runs on five hits and three walks. He also struck out five batters.
The Miners' offense was led by Dakota Bish, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles and five RBIs.
In the first inning, Miners' Nick Somers hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Nick Pascuzzo. Later that inning, Pete Meterko and Tom Bush both scored after a double to center field by Dakota Bish.
During the third inning, Meterko hit a rocket to deep right that was fumbled by Grays second baseman Joe Galbraith, allowing Meterko to reach third base. Both he and Bush were once again scored after another double from Bish, giving the Miners a 5-0 lead.
Bish hit a sacrifice fly to right field in the sixth inning, allowing Bush to score the final run for the Miners.
Brookville's offense struggled from the start. Catcher Jed Fiscus was the only Gray to record a hit through the first two innings.
During the third inning, when Brookville was already down 5-0, the offense began to get going.
Fiscus once again got a hit, brining home shortstop Tyler Ross for the Grays' first run of the night. First baseman Eric Painter was walked, and outfielder Cole Cook reached base with a hit, loading the bases for Korry Lindermuth.
Lindermuth hit a single to deep center, allowing both Ross and Painter to cross home plate. The Grays had improved the score to 5-3.
Brookville was unable to add any more runs that inning, as Rossiter first baseman Ken Neal made a leaping catch in right field on a fly ball by Joe Galbraith.
During the top of the fifth inning, Jewett was relieved by Jacob Nunley. When Nunley arrived at the mound, he had two outs with the bases loaded. Rossiter's Pascuzzo attempted a bunt, but was thrown out as Jewett helped out Painter at first base.
During Brookville's chance at bat in the fifth, the offense loaded the bases before Galbraith was hit by a pitch, giving the Grays their fourth and final run of the night.
"You have to look at the positive side of everything," McCullough said after the game. "I thought our relief pitchers did really well. Jewett came in and looked really good, and Nunley did a nice job. We had some mistakes in the infield, but other than that, I thought we looked really good."
The Grays will get another three-day break before they play a doubleheader against the NAPA Auto Parts at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Six Grays and four Miners will get the chance to play in the Federation League All-Star game versus the Indiana County All-Stars at 7 p.m. Saturday night in Homer City.
The Miners' next game is at 6 p.m. Sunday at home versus Sykesville.