DuBois forces winner-take-all final with Punxsy

DUBOIS — The DuBois Post 17 American Legion baseball team scored five runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings of Sunday afternoon's game against Punxsy Post 62,.

The final score was 15-3, and the game ended in five innings via the 12-run rule at Showers Field in DuBois.

"We didn't bring the same intensity as we did the other day, that's for sure," Punxsy manager Mike Dickey said. "Maybe it was a let down. I don't know, I really can't explain it. They hit the ball well, and we didn't. We just didn't show up."

Punxsy jumped out to the early lead in the top of the second inning when Ty Zimmerman singled to right and advanced to second on a fielding error on the right fielder. Zimmerman moved to third on a single by Spencer Levy.

Zimmerman scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Kyle Neal, and Levy scored on an RBI groundout to the first baseman.

Punxsy's offense went quiet after that, though, only managing two more hits for the rest of the game.

DuBois' Devan Walker started the game and pitched the first three innings, picking up the win.

Walker allowed two runs on three hits and walked three batters.

Joe Pisano was credited with the loss for Punxsy. Pisano held DuBois hitless for the first two innings.

Over the next 1 1/3-innings, Pisano struggled with his control, and DuBois got timely hits when they needed them.

DuBois took the lead for good in the third inning when it batted around and plated its first five runs.

Walker led off the inning with a walk, and Brandon Palumbo singled. Dante DeSantis walked to load the bases, and Garrett Peterson tied the game with a two-RBI single to center field.

Sean Sleigh and Mario Gregorio walked to load the bases. Nate Liddle and Matt Zimmerman each had RBI walks for DuBois before Pisano retired Walker, Dubois' tenth batter of the inning.

DuBois added five more in the fourth, highlighted by a two-RBI single by Walker.

DuBois continued to add to its lead with five runs in the fifth, with Sean Sleigh belting a two-run home run to deep right center field, to take the 12-run lead and end the game via the 12-run rule.

Punxsy had defeated DuBois Thursday to put them in the losers' bracket, but Sunday's win for DuBois means the two teams will play a rubber match, which will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. to determine the winner of the tournament.

The game will be played in DuBois, despite the fact that the first two games were held there, as well.

"Home field always goes to the higher seed." Dickey said. "It's an interesting system, but we have to beat them somewhere."

Punxsy will send their ace, Braedon Pennington to the mound Tuesday.

"Obviously, we're confident behind Braden, but we have to pick up our game," Dickey said. "We can't play like we did today and come out of here with a win regardless of who's pitching. I'm sure Dubois will come back with DeSantis, and he's just as tough to hit as Braeden is for us."

There was a definite air of intensity during today's game, especially in the early innings when it was close, and Dickey knows his team will have to bounce back with an intensity to match DuBois' if it has any chance to win the rematch.

"It'll be a dogfight. We're going to have to show up and play with both intensity and focus. That's for sure," he said.