DuBOIS — What a difference a day made in the Federation League Championship Series.
On Saturday, Sykesville staged a furious comeback to win an 11-9 slugfest to even the finals at 1-1.
Come Sunday evening, runs where at a premium at Showers Field and it was DuBois that managed to find the scoreboard to back a strong outing by starter Brandon Orsich in a 4-0 victory that put the Rockets back up 2-1 in the series.
Sykesville rolled out the same lineup that produced 11 runs Saturday — minus Dan Wascovich who was replaced by starting pitcher Nate Beimel — but Orsich shut down the Senators.
The righty tossed a four-hit shutout while striking out three and walking. He needed just under 100 pitches to finish off the complete game.
Three of Syksville’s four hits came in the first two innings, with Orsich retiring 16 of the final 17 batters he faced. The lone blemish over that closing stretch was a one-out single by Ryan Walker in the top of the seventh, but Orisch stranded the Senator at second to end the game.
Beimel matched zeroes with Orsich through the first three innings before DuBois got the only run it needed off the lefy in the fourth. Beimel did his best to keep Sykesville in the game but had to work a lot harder than Orsich.
Beimel allowed one run (earned) on just two hits but walked seven and hit one while throwing just over 100 pitches in four innings of work. He was saddled with the loss.
Brandon Sicheri relieved Beimel to start the fifth and tossed the final two innings, with the Rockets scoring three times against the lefty in the bottom of the sixth to give themselves some breathing room.
Today is an off day for the series, with action resuming Tuesday with Game 4 in Reynodsville at 6 p.m.
Sykesville tried to get off to a fast start Sunday, with Adam Fox and Devon Walker each hitting singles around a pair of flyouts. Orsich stopped the inning there though, getting Ryan Walker to popup to second baseman TJ Gornati to end the inning.
Beimel’s control issues surfaced in the bottom of the first, as the lefty walked the bases loaded around a pair of strikeouts. DuBois couldn’t capitalize though, as Beimel struck out Gornati looking to leave the bases loaded.
Sykesville’s Austin Blauser singled to center with two outs in the top of the second, but a popup quickly ended the inning. Blauser proved to be the Senators’ final base runner until Ryan Walker’s one0out single in the seventh.
DuBois got a leadoff double from Dan Bowman in the bottom half of the inning, but Bowman was cut down at third on a fielder’s choice. Courtesy runner Justin Orlowski was then picked off first as the game went scoreless into the third.
Sykesville’s defense made another big play in the bottom of the third as Garrett Brown, who walked, was thrown out trying to score on a two-out single to left by Nate Sabados.
The Rockets finally cracked Beimel in the fourth.
Matt Zimmerman and Gornati drew back-to-back walks to open the inning. Both moved up on a passed ball before Zimmerman scored on a Bowman groundout. First base Jake Felix made a nice diving stop on the ball to get the out as Zimmerman raced home to make it 1-0.
Beimel then hit Josh Sorbera and walked Clayton Read to load the bases with one out but got out of the jam himself by striking out Thayne Morgan and Garrett Brown — each looking — to keep it a 1-0 game.
DuBois stranded 10 runners in the game, including leaving the bases loaded in the first and fourth innings.
Sicheri came on in the fifth and promptly found himself having to work out of a jam when DuBois loaded the bases with one out on a Sabados walk, an error and Gornai single.
Sicheri helped his own cause when he fielded a hard comebacker off the bat of Bowman and fire home for a forceout. Catcher Dillon Harriger then threw to first in an attempt to complete an inning-ending doube play.
Harriger’s throw went down the right-field line as it Matt Zimmerman hustled around to score from second. However, the umpire ruled Bowman was out of the base line running to first, thus giving the Senators their inning-ending double play on an interference call to keep it a 1-0 game.
Sykesville wasn’t so fortunate in the bottom of the sixth though.
Sorbera was hit a second time in the game to lead off the inning and was replaced by courtesy runner Austin Amacher. Harriger then tried to pick off Amacher, but he took fof for second on the throw to first and dove in safely for a stolen base.
Read followed with a sacrifice bunt to move over Amacher and reached safely himself on an errant throw.
Thayne Morgan followed with a groundout that scored Amacher, while a double to right-center by Brown plated Read. Sabados capped the inning with a single to right to chase home Brown to set the final at 4-0.
Sabados was the lone player on either team with two hits in the game.