ROSSITER — The Rossiter Miners scored their second comeback win in as many games Saturday against Sykesville, this time scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to come away with a 4-3 walk-off victory to force a Game 6 tonight in Reynoldsville in the teams’ semifinal series.
Sykesville appeared headed to a series-clinching win for the second straight night but was unable to put the Miners away once again.
On Thursday, Rossiter scored five times in the top of the seventh — with the deciding runs coming on a Jordan Mesoraco grand slam. There was no monster blast like that on Saturday, but the Miners did string together four hits in the bottom of the seventh against starter Dan Wascovich to live to fight another day.
Pinch-hitter Greg Stouffer jump-started the comeback with a leadoff double to deep right field. Sykesville shortstop Adam Fox then made a huge play, diving up the middle to stop a ball hit by Brandon Matthews before throwing the Miner out from his knees on a close play.
Adison Neal, who re-entered to run for Stouffer, went to third on that play and scored when Darren Byers singled to center. Byers took second on a wild pitch before Sykesville elected to intentionally walk Pete Meterko.
Dakotah Byers followed with a single to right that scored Darren Byers to tie the game, then Isaac Stouffer ripped a walk-off single to center to plate Meterko with the winning run.
Wascovich was saddled with the loss, allowing four earned runs on 12 hits. He struck out one and walked one.
Prior to the Miners’ seventh-inning outburst, Sykesville appeared to be in total control after jumping out to an early lead against Rossiter starter Dylan Kachmar.
Senator Brandon Sicheri led off the game with a walk and hustled around to third on a single by Jared Baummer. Fox stepped in and hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Sicheri for a quick 1-0 lead.
Rossiter then elected to intentionally walk Jake Felix to put two runners on — a move that paid off when Ryan Walker hit into a fielder’s choice and Jude Lander popped up to third to end the inning.
Rossiter got that run right back in the bottom half when Brandon Matthews belted a leadoff double and scored on a two-out single by Dakotah Byers. Matthews was 2-for-4, while Byers was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Sykesville answered right back with a pair of runs in the top of the second as Kachmar struggled to find the strike zone.
Anthony Kness got things started with a one-out single, then Cory Manning and Sicheri each walked to load the bases. Kachmar got Baummer to pop up to third for the second, but back-to-back walks by Fox and Felix forced home a pair of runs to make it 3-1.
The score remained 3-1 in to the final inning despite both teams having opportunities to score.
Kevin London relieved Kachmar in the third and kept his team in the game by tossing four scoreless innings, even though Sykesville had its chances against the Fed league veteran.
London stranded two runners in the third, while his defense turned an inning-ending double in the fourth after Baummer had reached on an infield leadoff single. Baummer was 3-for-3, accounting for half the Senators hits on the day.
London also left a runner on in the fifth before stranding two more Senators in the sixth. London allowed three hits while walking four.
In total, Sykesville left 12 runners on base on the day, while the Miners stranded nine.
Rossiter’s best scoring chance after the first inning came in the third when Meterko and Dakotah Byers each singled with one out. However, Wascovich got Isaac Stouffer and Alec Petroff to each fly out to center to end the threat.
Sykesville threatened to add some insurance in the top of the seventh, with a leadoff single by Ryan Walker spelling the end for London. Matthews came on in relief and promptly struck out Lander.
Austin Bluaser then singled to center to put two on, but Matthews struck out Kness and Manning to quickly end the inning and set the stage for the Miners’ second straight comeback victory to pull within a game in the series, at 3-2.
Game 6 is set for 5 p.m. this evening in Reynoldsville.