BROOKVILLE — Punxsutawney 11-and-12 year olds were beaten, 10-8, at the hands of Brookville Team Skittlez Wednesday night despite a late sixth-inning rally.
Down 10-5 and with two outs, Punxsy's Brandon Matthews hit a three-run homer to right field, cutting Brookville's lead to just two. But Brookville's relief pitcher Ben Reitz remained calm and struck out the next batter, ending the game for Punxsy.
Punxsy will drop to the losers' bracket of the Craig Lewis Memorial Tournament taking place this week in Brookville.
Punxsutawney had three home runs, while Brookville hit two.
Punxsy's offense got going from the start, as Jacob Tyger hit a two-run homer in the top of the first, scoring himself and Brandon Matthews. But Brookville answered back with a two-run homer of its own scored by heavy-hitter Espy Reinard.
Punxsy then began to fall as it gave up five runs in the second. The inning was highlighted by Brookville's Caleb Hetrick, who hit a two-RBI double to improve his team's lead to 5-2.
By the end of the second stanza, Punxsy was trailing 7-2.
Brookville continued to add to its lead in the third as it retired all three Punxsy batters, and Keelan Kunselman hit a solo-home run.
Punxsy began to make a bit of a comeback in the top of the fourth, as Jacob Weaver hit a rocket with one man on, which landed just beyond the fence.
Brookville added a bit of insurance during the bottom of the stanza, as both Ben Caun and Colby Ho crossed home plate, bringing the score to 10-4.
Punxsy continued to fight, though, and it notched another run during the fifth as Caleb Smith scored off a single by Tyger.
Punxsy went into the sixth and final inning, knowing it must score at least five to keep the game going. The first two batters were retired, and the Punxsy fans began to lose hope. Two batters in a row were walked, and Brookville's pitcher Caleb Hetrick was replaced by Reitz.
On Reitz's second pitch to Brandon Matthews, Matthews hit a three-run homer and was engulfed in celebration by his teammates. Reitz stayed calm, though, and struck out the final batter, finishing the game.