ROSSITER — The DuBois Rockets batted around twice and scored 13 runs in the top of the third inning and held off a late Rossiter Miners push to win the second game of the Federation League championship series, 14-9, and take a 2-0 series lead Wednesday night at Shaffer Field in Rossiter.
Rossiter starting pitcher Christian Muth faced the minimum number of hitters through 2 1/3-innings, striking out Brett Sutika for the first out in the third inning. But, things started to go downhill for Rossiter when the next hitter, Tom Hibbert, hit a weak pop fly down the third baseline and it fell in fair territory between three converging Miners.
"We had one bad inning after that play," Rossiter manager Rick Matthews said. "That just seemed to turn the table. It's always one stinking inning."
DuBois went on to score 13 runs on ten hits, one error and three walks by Rossiter pitchers Muth, Matt Conrad and Joe Pisano in the third.
DuBois scored another run in the top of the fourth to push its lead to 14-0.
DuBois starting pitcher Jon Kemmer pitched three no-hit innings for the Rockets, allowing just one walk and striking out one. Houston Fairman relieved Kemmer after the third inning, and Rossiter was able to put some runs up against him, but it just couldn't bounce back from the 14-run deficit.
If there was a bright spot after the disappointing loss for Matthews, though, it was that his players never stopped playing hard.
"I'm just happy we battled back," he said. "We put some subs in, and they really battled back for us. If they'd have kept Kemmer in, it might have been a different story, but we just have to show up tomorrow with our heads on and play some baseball."
Pete Meterko manufactured Rossiter's first run after singling in the fourth inning for the Miners' first hit. Meterko moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a groundout by Tyler Skerkavich and scored on a second wild pitch by Fairman.
In the fifth, Jason Jacobson took the hill for Rossiter, and he pitched three shutout innings to close out the game.
Rossiter put another two runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth after Muth hit a double over the left fielder's head, and pinch-hitter Austin Furman drove him in with an RBI single.
Furman moved to second on a groundout by Jacob Stumpf and scored on an RBI single by Meterko, bringing the score to 14-3.
Muth doubled again in the sixth, and scored when Furman reached base on an error by the shortstop.
Rossiter scored five runs in the seventh, highlighted by a Matt Gourley solo home run, a two RBI single by Dakota Bish and a two RBI triple by Furman, bringing itself within five runs of the Rockets, but the rally fell short.
"Sometimes you need a game like this to kick yourself into gear," Matthews said. "You need to come back the next day and battle back. We were 12-run ruled one time this year and came out the next game hitting the ball, so hopefully, the guys will learn from this and not just let up and give it away."