DuBOIS — Coming off its first loss of the season Saturday against Brookville, the DuBois Central Catholic baseball team bounced back in a big way Monday with a 15-0, 4-inning mercy-rule victory against Bradford at Stern Family Field.
Central Catholic (3-1) once again brought its bats against the Owls (0-2), pounding out 12 hits — five for extra bases — in just over three innings of action. It marked the fourth time in four games DCC had at least nine hits.
Brandon Walker (3-for-4) and Anthony Kness (3-for-3) led the DCC attack, with each hitting a double. Walker had two RBIs and scored twice, while Kness had one RBIs and three runs.
Justin Miknis added a 2-for-2 day that featured a two-run home run. He finished with three RBIs and three runs scored. Zach Spellen chipped on a pinch-hit, two-run double in the fourth when the Cardinals pushed six runs across the plate to end the game via the mercy rule.
Senior Peter Downer was the beneficiary of all the offense, as the righty tossed a three-hit shutout in his first action on the mound this season. He struck out three and walked none.
“The big thing was we bounced back,” said DCC coach Adam Fox. “It challenged the kids. We had a little bit of a letdown on Saturday and had to stay hungry today and bounce back and trust our approaches and limit the mistakes.
“We got a huge performance out of Peter Downer, and I was proud of him today. I asked Pete to give us two innings, and we’ll go from there. He pounded the zone and made them swing and we made the plays behind him and he went the distance.
“He picked us up and now we have fresh arms going into a tough Johnsonburg game. Then we have a five-day break after that.”
Bradford’s Pat Caskey led off the game with a double off Downer, but the righty retired the next three batters to end any thoughts off a rally for the Owls.
Bradford managed just three more runners the rest of the way — one in each inning on an error and pair of singles. Noah Meyer, who reached on a two-out error in the second, was the only owl to reach third when Downer was called for a pair of balks. The Cardinals stranded him there by striking out Drew Piganelli to end the inning.
With Downer silencing the Bradford bats, the DCC offense got rolling from the get-go.
Walker led off the game with a single down the right-field line, then Miknis walked with one out. Both moved up a base on a wild pitch before Prosper plated Walker with a sacrifice fly to left. Dom Torretti followed with a single to left that scored Miknis to make it 2-0 DCC after one inning.
The Cardinals broke the game open with a five-run bottom of the second to take a 7-0 lead.
Downer reached on a leadoff error before Kness beat out an infield single and Damon Foster walked to load the bases. That turned the DCC lineup over to Walker, who ripped a two-run double down the left-field line.
Noah Bloom followed with a sac fly to center that plated Foster before Miknis punctuate the inning with a 2-run homer to right-center field.
Central tacked on two more runs in the third.
Cole Sansom got things started with a leadoff walk. After Downer flew out, Kness belted a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. Foster followed with a single that brought home Sansom.
Foster wasted little time taking off for second and slide in safely with the steal as an errant throw by the Owls’ catcher went into center. That miscue allowed Kness to trot home to make it 9-0.
The Cardinals then put the game away with their six-run fourth that featured five hits.
Miknis was hit by a pitch to start the inning but didn’t stay at first for long as he scored on a double to left-center by Prosper. Walks by Torretti and Sansom loaded the bases for pinch-hitter Spellen, who rifled a pitch by reliever Nolan Ruolo down the left-field line for a 2-run double to put DCC up 12-0.
That spelled the end for Ruolo, as Cam Austin came on for the Owls. Kness greeted him with a liner up the middle that deflected off Austin’s glove for an infield single that plated Sansom.
Foster followed with a sac fly to center before Miknis ended things with a bases-loaded single that scored Kness with the game-ending run.
“Everyone hit the ball well today, and Zach Spellen took advantage of an opportunity and got a big hit. He’s come off the bench three times for us and has had good at-bats each time for us. He’s just a sophomore and that says a lot about the work he’s put in and his approach. It’s tough to crack this lineup right now with it being senior loaded.”
The Cardinals host Johnsonburg Wednesday at Stern Field.