DuBOIS — The DuBois Senior League All-Star baseball team couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the Pennsylvania State Tournament — a start that has one the hometown team sitting in tonight’s winners’ bracket finals after a 2-0 start at Stern Family Field.
And, those two victories couldn’t have come in more different ways.
DuBois got off to a fast start with a pair of runs in the top of the first in its opening game Wednesday night and never looked back in a 10-1 victory against Hanover.
The Section 1 champs then had to play from behind for most of the night Thursday against Upper Moreland before pulling out a crazy 6-5 walk-off victory to stay in the winners’ bracket.
Both teams scored a run in the first Thursday before the Section 8 champions seized control of the game with a pair of runs in both the second and third innings to lead 5-1. Upper Moreland won the pregame coin toss and elected to be the visitors.
DuBois got a run back in the fourth when Kaden Brezenski beat out an infield single to open the inning before his special pinch runner Davey Aughenbaugh scored on a Trey Wingard groundout to make it 5-2.
Upper Moreland was still in control at that point as a trio of pitchers held DuBois to just five hits in the game — three by leadoff hitter Matt Pyne, who finished 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
However, DuBois staged a furious comeback in the final two innings in front of the home crowd, scoring four runs in the final two innings — two in each frame — without the aide of a hit.
Brayden Fox jump-started that rally in the sixth with a one out walk against reliever Donato Incollingo. Fox then stole second before Aiden Snowberger drew a walk himself. The pair moved up on a wild pitch.
Wingard stepped in and hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Fox, while Snowberger raced home on a two-out wild pitch to pull DuBois within a run a 5-4.
DuBois reliever Brock Smith, who entered the game with one out in the sixth, then promptly retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to give his team a chance to win the game.
And, they did just that.
Pyne led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and took second and third on wild pitches. Kaden Clark then worked a walk and took off for second. Upper Moreland elected to throw down on the steal — a throw that was off the mark. Pyne easily ran home to tie the game and still likely would have scored even the throw had been caught.
Clark then nearly made a major mental error in the inning as he failed to tag up and advance on a flyout to right that resulted in a wild pitch. However, Upper Moreland then gifted DuBois third when catcher Paul Meyers tried to pick Clark off second. His throw went into the outfield and allowed Clark to take third.
Things then got even crazier with Brezenski at the plate and one out. Brezenski worked the count but eventually struck out on a low pitch from reliever Shawn Townsend. The play hardly ended there though. The ball skipped off the turf and bounced off Meyers’ glove before Brezenski hit in in mid-air on his follow through.
That contact knocked the ball up the third-base line where Upper Moreland tracked it down and threw to first to record the out on the strikeout. As they did, Clark sprinted home from third to score the winning run and send his teammates and the DuBois fans into a frenzy.
Upper Moreland’s manager instantly protested the game, arguing the play should have been a dead ball and an out when Brezenski hit the ball on his back swing. However, umpires made the correct call on the field — which was confirmed right afterwards as part of the protest — that the ball was live because it hit the catcher before Brezenski’s bat on the backswing.
The wild come-from-behind victory was really made possible by the relief work of Smith and Tyler Chamberlin, who tossed a combined 4 2/3 scoreless innings after starter Carter Hickman allowed all five Upper Moreland runs.
Chamberlin tossed three scoreless innings, giving up three hits while striking out out one, to hold the Section 8 champs at five runs. He also tossed a scoreless inning in DuBois’ opening win Wednesday.
Smith got the win after retiring five of the six batters he faced between the sixth and seventh innings. His lone blemish was hitting a batter with one out in the sixth.
“In those first three innings, we had our doubts and didn’t really have a plan,” said DuBois manager Evan Snowberger. “We we were putting the ball in play but not like we usually do, and they (Upper Moreland) played great defense.
“That brought that hard righty in (in 5th) and we sit on fastball. We switched a gear there in the fourth inning. Tyler Chamberlin came up big (on the mound) after throwing yesterday (Wednesday) and gave us two more shutout innings.
“And Brock Smith, that’s a big spot for him. I’m proud of the kid and have coached him his whole life basically in Minor League, Little League. For him to come in there after hardly throwing a bullpen this season and get loose and throw like he did, I’m very proud of him for doing that.”
DuBois now plays Loyalsock tonight at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to Sunday’s state championship game.
DuBois’ opening-night victory had far less drama than Thursday as the two runs it scored in the first inning proved to be enough for lefty Aiden Snownberger and a pair of relievers as the trio limited the Section 5 champs to one earned on six hits. The younger Snowberger got the start and tossed five strong innings, giving up the one earned run on six hits while striking out five and walking one.
Chamberlin and Kaden threw scoreless sixth and seventh innings, respectively, to finish off the victory. Chamberlin book-ended his inning with strikeouts with a pair of walks in between, while Brezenski had a perfect bottom of the seventh.
Aiden Snowberger also played a huge role in a DuBois offensive attack that pounded out 11 hits while scoring 10 runs. DuBois scored in every inning but the second and fourth. Snowberger was 3-for-3 with a RBI, while leadoff hitter Matt Pyne also had three hits to go along with a pair of steals and two runs scored. Brayden Fox and Trey Wingard each collected a pair of RBIs.
“We stuck with our MO,” said Evan Snowberger. “All season, we’ve waited for guys to get hungry off the bench to get their shots, and they got it tonight. And, Snowy was throwing strikes. I told him tonight to just focus on pitching, and if you get a hit or two that’s a bonus ... you have one job to do and that’s to pitch and throw strikes and pound the zone. He did that and also had a couple really good at-bats in a couple RBI situations tonight.
“A couple other guys also had good approaches in full count situations and helped get their (Hanover’s) pitch count up.”
Pyne got DuBois off and running with a leadoff single, then stole second with one out before Carter Hickman and Brezenski both walked to load the bases. Hanover starter Collin Klein then got Fox to pop up, but Snowberger came through with a clutch two-out single to left to plate Pyne. An alert Hickman raced home a couple pitches later on an errant throw back to the mound by Hanover’s catcher to make it 2-0.
“Pyne led off the game in that first at-bat and works a full count and hits a couple foul balls before getting on base with his wheels,” said Snowberger. “That helped set the tone early and was good to see. Getting those two early runs helped settle the kids down a little.”
Hanover cut that 2-0 deficit in half in the bottom of the second when Colin Whitman belted a double with one out and scored on a two-out single by Nicholas Schiel. The Section 5 champs could only muster the one run in the frame, which proved key when DuBois quickly triples its with a pair of runs in the third.
Hickman reached on an error to open the inning before Brezenski walked for a second time. After Fox flew out to center, Snowberger delivered again with a run-scoring single, this time plating Hickman. Brezenski hustled around to third on the hit and scored a batter later when Hanover’s first baseman made a nice play to knock down a line drive hit by Wingard before stepping in the bag for the second out.
Trailing 4-1, Hanover tried to answer back again in the third but a couple big defensive plays helped change the complexion of the game.
Jacob Vigorito and Timothy Seriani each singled with one out, but Snowberger promptly picked off Vigorito at second for out No. 2. The pickoff proved key when Daniel Fuller lined a single to center that Pyne couldn’t make a diving catch on.
Chamberlin, who started in left, had hustled over on the sinking liner to back up Pyne and made a quick throw to second baseman Andrew Green, who fired a strong relay throw to the plate as Seriani rounded third and tried to score from first. DuBois caught Seriani in no-man’s land halfway between third and home, and Wingard tagged him out to end a brief rundown to end the inning and maintain a 4-1 advantage.
It was all DuBois from there.
The Section 1 champs tacked on a run in the fifth when Fox was hit by a pitch and later scored on a Wingard sacrifice fly before really breaking the game open with a four-run sixth to take a 9-1 lead.
Garrett Frantz jump-started the rally with a leadoff single, while base hits by Pyne and Hickman around a strikeout loaded the bases with one out. Brezenski then beat out an infield single single that brought home Frantz before Fox smacked a two-run single up the middle.
Snowberger capped the big inning with a sac fly to left to bring in Brezenski to make it 9-1 before giving way to Chamberlin on the mound in the bottom of the sixth.
Chamberlin struck out Vigorito to open the inning before issuing a pair of walks. He stopped the rally there though, getting a fielder’s choice and strikeout to end the sixth.
DuBois pushed across another insurance run in the seventh when Cartar Kosko drew a leadoff walk, took second on a failed pickoff attempt by reliever Cole Whitman and scored when Frantz reached on another error.
Brezenski didn’t allow Hanover to gain any hope or momentum in the bottom of the seventh as he retired the side in order to end the game.
Score by Innings
DuBois 202 014 1 — 10
Hanover 010 000 0 — 0
Matt Pyne cf 4230, Neel Gupta ph 1000, Kaden Clark rf 3010, Davey Aughenbaugh ph-rf 2000, Carter Hickman ss 3310, Brock Smith ph 1000, Kaden Brezenski 3b-p 2211, Brayden Fox 1b 3112, Aiden Snowberger p-lf 3033, Trey Wingard c 3002, Tyler Chamberlin lf-p-rf 2100, Cartar Kosko lf 1000, Andrew Green 2b 2000, Garrett Frantz 2b 2110. Totals: 32-10-11-8.
Collin Klein p-ss 3000, Brett Martinez 1b-p 3000, Jacob Vigorito 3b 3010, Timothy Seriani lf 2010, Daniel Fuller c 2010, Colin Whitman ss-cf-2b 3110, Caden Hummer 2b-1b 2000, Darius Bohinski ph 1000, Nicholas Schiel dh 3011, Elijah Noe rf 0000, Cole Whitman cf-p-cf 2010, Logan Eisenhauer ph 1000. Totals: 25-1-6-1.
Errors: DuBois 0, Hanover 3. LOB: DuBois 9, Hanover 6. 2B: Col. Whitman. SF: Snowberger, Wingard. HBP: Fox (by Klein). SB: Pyne 2, Clark, Snowberger. PO: Vigorito (by Snowberger).
DuBois: Aiden Snowberger-5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO: Tyler Chamberlin-1 IP, 0 G, 0 R 2 BB, 2 SO: Kaden Brezenski-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Hanover: Collin Klein-4 2/3, IP, 6 H, 5 R 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 1 HB; Cole Whitman-1 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Brett Martinez-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO.
Winning pitcher: Snowberger. Losing pitcher: Klein.
UPPER MORELAND 5
Score by Innings
Upper Moreland 122 000 0 — 5
DuBois 100 102 2 — 6
* There was two outs when game-winning run scored
Shawn Townsend ss-p 3111, Jared McClellan lf-cf 4011, Donato Incollingo cf-p-ss 4000, Jimmy Torpey p-lf 3121, John Baker dh 4010, Tanner Sharp 3b 0000, Paul Meyers c 4100, Alex Best rf 3110, Brian Murtha 1b 2110, Nathan Kelly 2b 2011. Totals: 29-5-8-4.
Matt Pyne cf 3230, Kaden Clark 3b-lf 3100, Carter Hickman p-ss 3001, Kaden Brezenski ss-3b 4110, Brayden Fox 1b 1110, Aiden Snowberger rf 2100, Trey Wingard c 2002, Cartar Kosko dh 2000, Davey Aughenbaugh spr 0100, Tyler Chamberlin p 0000, Brock Smith p 0000, Garrett Frantz 2b 1000, Andrew Green p 2000. Totals: 23-6-5-3.
Errors: UM 1, DuBois 1. LOB: UM 9, DuBois 5. 2B: Murtha. SF: Hickman, Wingard. HBP: Torpey (by Smith). SB: McClellan; Pyne 3, Fox, Aughenbaugh.
UM: Jimmy Torpey-4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Donato Incollingo-2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO; Shawn Townsend-2/3 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.
DuBois: Carter Hickman-2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO; Tyler Chamberlin-3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Brock Smith-1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Winning pitcher: Smith. Losing pitcher: Townsend.