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With the score knotted up at 5-all in the bottom of the seventh inning and two runners on for the Crusaders and no outs, Brookville intentionally walked ECC's Ivan Wortman to load the bases during a contest played at Berwind Park on Friday afternoon. After striking out the next batter, Brookville pitcher Brock Beitz threw four straight balls to Jack Herzing, giving the Crusaders the 6-5 win on a walk-off walk that scored Brock McCullough.
"They kept themselves together tonight," said ECC coach Tom Zampogna of his squad. "They're a young team, I've been saying that all year. They're starting to gel as a team. They're starting to get a little more confidence, and I think they're starting to understand the game and not get so shook up in situations that are tight like this. They played really well.
"It was a good win for our kids tonight. It was a good game overall. Brookville played a good game. Offensively they came and played a game."
Ben Cortina started on the mound for the Crusaders, working two and one-third innings and giving up four hits, walking five, and striking out two. Joe Childs worked the final four and two-thirds innings, giving up four hits, walking three, and striking out seven.
"Benny struggled up front pitching. Joe Childs came in and pitched extremely well, and then he got our spark going on offense. Joe doesn't normally hit. I think he's had five at-bats all year long, and he came up and got a base hit and he got everything going for us both defensively as well as offensively," Zampogna said.
Dakota Singleton started on the mound for the Raiders, working three innings and giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out three. Tyler Dombrowski worked the next two innings, giving up four hits, walking one, and striking out one. Brock Beitz worked the final two innings, giving up two hits, walking three, and striking out two.
ECC had eight hits in the contest and was led offensively by Brock McCullough and Joe McLaughlin, who each recorded a double. Pat Brennen, Dan Singer, Joe Childs, Ivan Wortman, Jack Herzing, and Ben Cortina all singled.
The Raiders also had eight hits and were led by Nathan Bonfardine with a pair of singles. Seth Connor, Pat Brush, Zane Hackett, Brock Beitz, Nathan St. Laurent, and Austin Matthews all singled.
Brookville took an early lead, putting up a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Seth Connor singled but was picked off at second on a fielder's choice by Pat Brush. Tyler Dombrowski walked to give the Raiders a pair of base runners. With two outs, Nathan Bonfardine singled to load the bases and another single by Brock Beitz scored Connor and Dombrowski, putting Brookville up 2-0. The Crusaders went down in order in the home half of the inning.
With only one out, the Raiders had the bases loaded as AJ Skerkavich, Austin Matthews and Connor all walked. Cortina got the Crusaders out of the jam, striking out the next two batters to keep Brookville from adding to their lead. ECC tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of runs of their own. Ivan Wortman reached base on an error and then advanced to second as Joe McLaughlin walked. Both picked up another base as Jack Herzing singled. With Ben Cortina up to bat, Brookville pitcher Dakota Singleton balked, allowing Wortman to score as each of the runners picked up a base. Cortina went on to single, scoring McLaughlin and tying the score at 2-all.
Brookville retook the lead in the top of the third. Zane Hackett was hit by a pitch and Bonfardine walked. Eached picked up another base as Beitz reached on an error. Hackett scored on a fielder's choice by Skerkavich that saw Beitz picked off at second. A single by Nathan St. Laurent scored Cameron Yard, who was courtesy running for Bonfardine, giving Brookville a 4-2 lead. The Crusaders left a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the inning.
Neither team scored in the fourth and Brookville left one on in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half of the inning, ECC again got their momentum going as they scored three runs to take their first lead of the contest. With one out, Brennen singled and advanced to second as McCullough was thrown out at first on a fielder's choice. Joe Childs singled, scoring Brennen. Ivan Wortman singled, advancing Childs, and both scored on a double by McLaughlin, putting Elk Catholic up 5-4.
In the top of the sixth, Brush singled for Brookville and advanced to second as Dombrowski was thrown out at first on a fielder's choice. Hackett singled and Bonfardine walked to load the bases. Beitz flied out to right field, but Brush scored on the play, knotting the score back up at 5-all. The Crusaders were unable to answer in the bottom half of the inning.
Brookville was unable to score in the top of the seventh. In the home half of the inning, McCullough doubled and advanced to third on a single by Singer. The Raiders then intentionally walked Ivan Wortman to load the bases. With one out, Jack Herzing also walked, scoring McCullough and ending the game with a walk-off walk to give ECC the 6-5 win.
The Crusaders are now 12-5 on the season and will be back in action on Monday as they host Cameron County in a 4:15 p.m. contest.
Seth Connor 2-0-1, Cameron Yard 2-1-0, Pat Brush 4-2-1, Tyler Dombrowski 3-1-0, Zane Hackett 3-1-1, Nathan Bonfardine 2-0-2, Brock Beitz 4-0-1, Dakota Singleton 0-0-0, AJ Skerkavich 1-0-0, Lance Conrad 2-0-0, Nathan St. Laurent 3-0-1, Austin Matthews 3-0-1. Totals 29-5-8.
Elk Catholic 6
Pat Brennen 4-1-1, Brock McCullough 4-1-1, Dan Singer 2-0-1, Joe Childs 2-1-1, Ivan Wortman 2-2-1, Joe McLaughlin 3-1-1, Jack Herzing 2-0-1, Ben Cortina 3-0-1, Vincent Jacob 2-0-0, Brandon Schlimm 3-0-0. Totals 27-6-8.
Score by innings R
Brookville 202 001 0 5
ECCHS 020 030 1 6