BROOKVILLE — The DuBois Minor League All-Stars used a four-run bottom of the fourth to secure a 6-2 victory over LeBoeuf in the opener of the Section 1 tournament at Zufall Field Tuesday.
The game was tied at two after three innings of play before DuBois was able to push across four runs as it rode a strong combined pitching performance to the victory.
Leadoff batter Wes Clyde got the big inning started by drawing a walk before Nathan Witherite hit a ground ball to second as LeBoeuf looked to force Clyde out at second on the play.
Instead a bobble by the second baseman allowed both runners to reach safely with still no outs in the inning.
Seth Wilmoth followed by driving a double into right-center field to score Clyde for the eventual game-winning run and put runners on second and third.
After a strikeout resulted in the first out of the frame, Hunter Ho delivered a double of his own to left-center to score both Witherite and Wilmoth to push the lead to three runs.
Ho then moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring the final run of the inning on a groundout back to the mound by Adam Drahushak.
The four-run advantage proved to be more than enough for DuBois reliever Brody Knouse, who in his first appearance on the mound during All-Star play went 2 2/3 innings allowing one unearned run on three hits while walking none and striking out seven to get the win.
Clyde took over on the mound in the final inning, resting the side in order with one strikeout to close out the game and send DuBois into the winners’ bracket with a 6-2 win.
Knouse and Clyde combined with Isaac Dennison and Wilmoth to strikeout 14 LeBoeuf batters in the victory.
“We really relied on the pitching, we have a lot of different routes and we were fortunate to keep a lot of them eligible for later on in the tournament,” DuBois manager Mike Gregory said. “Brody Knouse that’s the first time he pitched in All-Stars this year so for him to put on a performance like that was a godsend.”
LeBoeuf took the early lead, as it pushed across a run on two hits and a walk against DuBois starter Dennison in the top of the first.
After a strikeout started the game, Dustin Strasser singled down the right-field line before Easton Glass drew a walk.
After another strikeout, Ryan Bakka came through with a big two-out hit, singling to right field to bring home Strasser for the game’s first run.
DuBois then handed the ball over to Wilmoth on the mound, who struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning.
DuBois got the run back right away in the home half of the inning as Clyde reached on a dropped fly ball to lead off the inning.
Clyde then stole second and moved to third when Keegan Gregory grounded out back to the pitcher.
Wilmoth followed by hitting a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Clyde and tie the game at one after an inning of play.
After Wilmoth struck out the side in the top of the second, DuBois took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the inning.
Bryson Kail started the inning off with an infield single off the pitcher, as Clyde later reached on a one-out walk to put two runners aboard.
Gregory then hit a grounder back to the pitcher, as LeBoeuf was able to force Kail out at third on the play.
Wilmoth then ripped a triple to left to bring home Clyde for the go-ahead run as Gregory was eventually thrown out at home on the play for the final out of the inning.
LeBoeuf was then able to tie the game in the third inning when Glass reached on a two-out error and later scored when Alex Craft hit a grounder to third on which DuBois attempted to throw Glass out at home, but was unsuccessful.
DuBois then took the lead for good in the fourth when its first three runners of the inning all reached base and scored on the way to the four-run frame to bring the final score to 6-2.
LeBoeuf’s best chance to cut into the deficit came in the fifth inning when Strasser and Glass led off with back-to-back singles.
After a strikeout for the first out, Bakka reached on an infield single to third to load the bases.
Knouse then struck out the next two batters to get out of the jam and strand the bases loaded to preserve the lead.
DuBois was only able to out-hit LeBoeuf 7-5 in the win, as Wilmoth and Ho accounted for four of those hits with two apiece.
“We know that we can hit better than what we showed today, we did have some clutch hits and its not always going to fire on all cylinders and sometimes you have to find ways to win and we were fortunate to do that today,” Gregory said.
DuBois will now take on Clarion today at 7 p.m. with a spot in Friday’s championship game up for grabs while LeBoeuf will battle Northwest in an elimination game today at 5 p.m.