DuBOIS — DuBois was unable to hold on to a 6-5 lead after three innings, as Central Mountain used a four-run fourth inning to pull in front on its way to an 11-7 victory at Showers Field Monday.
The Beavers battled back in the first two innings to tie the game at five after two before holding the Wildcats scoreless in the top of the third and taking their first lead with a run in the home half.
Cullen Corle led the bottom of the third off with a single up the middle, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jeremy Krise and third on a groundout by Dayne Bauman.
Chandler Ho followed by beating out a throw from short for an infield single to bring home Corle and give DuBois (4-4) its first lead of the afternoon at 6-5.
Central Mountain responded in the top of the fifth, as its first six batters of the inning reached base on five hits and a hit by pitch to score four runs and retake the lead for good.
“They’re (Central Mountain) a very quality 5A school and every time we play them, we know we’re in for a fight,” DuBois head coach Todd Stiner said. “They killed us on the bases, to have that kind of team speed is impressive.”
The Beavers got back within two in the bottom half, as Eric Schneider reached on a two-out infield single and scored when Chase Husted ripped a double down the left-field line.
DuBois thrived all afternoon when down to its final out in an inning, as all seven of the Beavers runs on the day came with two outs.
Husted’s RBI double proved to be the home side’s last hit of the game, as DuBois was held without a hit over the final three innings of play. Meanwhile, Central Mountain added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth to bring the final score to 11-7.
DuBois had a chance to respond in the bottom of the sixth, as Justin Swauger led off by reaching on an error and Jordan Frano followed with a walk to give the Beavers two runners on with nobody out.
Central Mountain relief pitcher Kaden Falls responded by retiring the next three batters to get out of the jam and preserve the four-run lead.
“It makes it hard to have to score four runs in the seventh,” Stiner said. “You’re hoping to cut that in half,” Stiner said.
“We’ve gotta manufacture and try to find ways to score runs in every inning, that’s all there is to it. This is the second game now we’ve gone cold late after being hot early.”
The Wildcats took the early lead in the top of the first, scoring three runs on a groundout, an RBI single and a double steal to jump in front 3-0.
DuBois responded in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs of its own, despite seeing its first two batters of the frame retired.
Swauger, Frano and Schneider drew three straight walks to load the bases, then Husted followed with a fly ball into shallow left field.
The cold, windy day proved to help the Beavers, as the wind caused the Central Mountain second baseman to lose track of the ball, allowing Husted to reach for a 2-RBI double.
The Wildcats responded by stretching their lead back to three with a pair of runs in the top of the second.
Just like they did in the first inning, DuBois battled back with a strong offensive frame of its own in the bottom of the second.
After Krise led off with a walk, he was forced out at second when Bauman reached on a fielder’s choice.
After a fly out to center field, Garrett Starr got yet another two-out rally started with a single to left.
Swauger followed with a 2-RBI double to right-center to bring home Bauman and Starr and trim the deficit to one.
After Frano drew his second walk of the game, Schneider hit a ground ball to third, but the ball was thrown away, allowing Swauger to come around and score the tying run.
DuBois then took the lead with a run in the second inning, before Central Mountain outscored the Beavers 6-1 over the final four innings to secure the 11-7 win on the road.
The middle of the lineup led the way for the Beavers, as the team’s 3-6 hitters in the lineup scored a combined four runs and combined to drive in five runs.
Swauger scored a pair and drove in a pair, Frano and Schneider each scored a run and Husted drove in three runs in the loss.
“We played hard, we played well and we just gotta rebound from it,” Stiner said. “We’ve got a big game Wednesday with Brookville and gotta find a way to get back in the win column.”
DuBois returns to the diamond Wednesday at Brookville.