BROOKVILLE — The Rossiter Miners now have to win just four games in order to secure their first championship in 19 years. Rossiter will take on the DuBois Rockets in the finals starting Tuesday.
Rossiter had a convincing 12-5 win over the Brookville Grays to finish the semi-final victory.
"We did everything good tonight — the base running, the hitting and the defense," Rossiter manager Rick Matthews said. "That was a big win."
The Miners started off strong, scoring seven runs in the first inning, and it looked like the game was over from the beginning.
"To come out and score seven runs, I didn't expect that," Matthews said. "But Brookville always chips away, with runs here and runs there; the last game here, we were up 4-1, and they came up back and won it. You can never score enough runs against these guy, and everybody knows it."
When the Miners began their series with the Grays, it looked as if they were facing a feat they might not be able to overcome. The Miners have not won a playoff series against the Grays since 1998.
"Brookville has always gotten the best of us in these series, and we finally beat them," Matthews said following Sunday's game. "We're finally turning the tables, and everybody's bowing down and getting at it."
Brookville's starting pitcher Ryan Barrett struggled from the first pitch, walking Rossiter's first two batters.
Miners Jacob Stumpf was the first to score, being driven in by Tommy Bush's double. Matt Gourley then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Pete Meterko.
Bush was the next to cross home plate after an error by Brookville's second baseman. Dakota Bish followed Gourley's lead, sacrificing himself but scoring Tyler Skerkavich.
Christian Muth was driven in by Rick Bishop, who hit a single to deep right-center. The last two runs were scored by Meterko, during his second at-bat of the inning.
Rossiter's defense helped its offense, and by the end of the inning, the Miners led 7-0.
Brookville added one run during the bottom of the second. Ryan Zimmerman scored off a single to right field by Dan Walters, but it was unable to add anymore, leaving a batter stranded.
The Miners got their lead back to seven during the top of the third. Stumpf led off the inning with a left-field double and was scored by Skerkavich's single. But Rossiter couldn't add to that run and left the bases loaded.
Brookville added two more runs during its turn at bat; Ben Marzullo and courtesy runner Matt Isaac both scored off Kent Shick's double.
The Grays' defense was strong during the fourth, retiring three batters in a row. They also added another run, cutting the lead to just four.
But Rossiter's hitting prowess continued in the fifth, during which it scored four runs.
The first run of the inning was scored by Meterko, who got to third off a hit by Bush but ran home after an error by Brookville's center fielder.
Skerkavich had his second RBI of the night, driving in Austin Furman, who was running for Bush. Muth and Bish both hit sacrifices, scoring Rossiter's 11th and 12th runs.
Brookville scored its fifth and final run during the fifth inning when Joe Galbraith hit a single down the middle, scoring Eric Painter. But the Grays were once again unable to cut the lead down any more and left runners stranded at first and second.
Although Rossiter did not score during the final two innings, the 12 runs were enough to button down the victory and ensure its place in the championship series.
Matthews said he plans on giving his team the day off today before resuming play Tuesday against DuBois.
"It's going to be a good series," Matthews said. "DuBois got the best of us in the regular season, and they have some good hitters, just like Brookville had and maybe even better."