The St. Marys Area Flying Dutchmen baseball team took an early 3-0 lead Friday afternoon at Berwind Park and held off a Coudersport rally to pick up a 6-5 victory.
"What was nice, though, was not starting down," said St. Marys Area coach Tony Azzato. "In the five games we've been playing, we've given up 11 runs in the first inning. It was nice today to not have any runs in the first inning and we actually didn't have to battle back."
The Dutchmen went ahead 3-0 in the first inning. Both teams recorded two runs in the fourth. St. Marys added their final run in the fifth inning, while the Falcons scored once in the sixth and twice in the seventh.
Quinn Cunningham started on the mound for St. Marys and worked six innings, allowing six hits, walking one, and striking out two. Dalton Kline pitched the final inning, striking out one.
"What more can you say about Quinn? I think up until the fourth inning he got ahead of every batter except one. First pitch, strike; first pitch, strike-- he just, he battled with them and it showed. We were able to take him into the sixth inning and he threw well," Azzato said.
Jason Bertrand worked three and two thirds innings for the Falcons, giving up three hits, walking two, and striking out four. Ethan Hite pitched the final two and one third innings, giving up two hits and walking one.
The Dutchmen had five hits in the contest. Justin Beimel led the way with a pair of singles. Branden Tyger and Mitchell Meyer each had a double, and Quinn Cunningham singled.
"Justin Beimel had those two big hits. MItch Meyer, when they made the pitching change, I said to Mitch, 'you've got to sit back and get ready for that fastball. If the first one is there, drive it,' and he did. He hit it high enough, with two outs, where we could score the runner from first base, so that was a huge hit," Azzato said.
The Falcons recorded six hits. Tim McCusker and Caden Whitman both had a pair of singles, while Ryan Counts and Jeff McManus each singled.
John Michael Rigas started off the top of the first inning by reaching base on an error for the Falcons. Andrew Rigas flied out to the shortstop, bringing about the first out, and the Dutchmen turned it into a double play as John Michael Rigas was out at second after failing to tag up on the fly ball. Tim McCusker singled, but was left on base as Caden Whitman struck out. In the bottom half of the inning Robert Watts reached base on a dropped third strike. Dalton Kline flied out to the shortstop for St. Marys' first out. A double by Branden Tyger scored Watts, and a single by Justin Beimel scored Tyger. Brandon Vollmer flied out to center field for the team's second out; however, Beimel was able to make it home on the play, giving St. Marys a 3-0 lead. David Aul struck out to end the inning.
Both teams went down in order in the second and third innings.
Coudersport finally got on the board in the top of the fourth. With one out, McCusker singled and made it to second on a single by Whitman. A fielder's choice saw Ethan Hite make it on base, while McCusker made it to third and Whitman was thrown out at second. A single by Counts scored both McCusker and Hite to cut St. Marys' lead to 3-2. Philip Andrus grounded to third and was unable to beat the throw to first, preventing Coudersport from rallying further. In the bottom of the inning, St. Marys added a pair of runs of their own to re-extend their advantage. With one out, Vollmer walked. Aul struck out, and Cunningham walked. Coudersport decided to change pitchers, bringing Hite to the mound in place of Bertrand. Mitchell Meyer took advantage of the change and came up with a big play, hitting a double that scored Alexx Tyger, courtesy running for Vollmer, and Nick Burdick, courtesy running for Cunningham. Luke Schreiber grounded out to first base to end the inning with the Dutchmen on top 5-2.
The Falcons looked to continue their rally in the top of the fifth inning. McManus singled and advanced on a fielder's choice that saw Bryan Brooks thrown out at first. John Michael Rigas walked, and Andrew Rigas was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Coudersport. The Dutchmen used a big double play to take out the runners at first and second to end the threat and preserve their lead. In the bottom of the inning, Watts walked. With two outs, Beimel singled again, scoring Watts and giving St. Marys a 6-2 lead. The run would be the last for St. Marys in the contest.
Coudy added another run of their own in the top of the sixth. Whitman singled and scored on an error that also saw Hite make it all the way to third. He was left stranded, though, as the next three batters went down in order to leave the score at 6-3 in favor of the Dutchmen. St. Marys' batters went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
The Dutchmen changed pitchers in the seventh inning, bringing Dalton Kline to the mound to relieve Cunningham. Kyle Clay started things off for Coudy by reaching base on an error. John Michael Rigas also reached on an error that saw Patrick Bellhurst, pinch running for Clay, advance to second. Andrew Rigas reached base on an error. McCusker made it on base on an error, and Bellhurst also scored on the play. Whitman flied out to center field on a play and John Michael Rigas was able to score on the play, bringing the Falcons within one run of tying the game. Hite struck out, however, putting the Dutchmen one out away from the victory. A walk by Kline advanced Andrew Rigas to third and McCusker to second. Counts then hit a line drive to St. Marys shortstop Mitchell Meyer to end the game and give the Dutchmen the 6-5 victory.
The Dutchmen are now 2-3 on the season. They will be back in action on Monday when they host Hollidaysburg in a 4:15 p.m. contest at Berwind Park.
Joseph Michael Rigas 3-1-0, Jason Bertrand 0-0-0, Andrew Rigas 3-0-0, Tim McCusker 4-1-2, Caden Whitman 4-1-2, Ethan Hite 4-1-0, Ryan Counts 4-0-1, Philip Andrus 3-0-0, Jeff McManus 3-0-1, Bryan Brooks 2-0-0, Kyle Clay 1-0-0, Patrick Bellhurst 0-1-0. Totals 31-5-6.
St. Marys 6
Robert Watts 2-2-0, Dalton Kline 3-0-0, Branden Tyger 3-1-1, Justin Beimel 3-1-2, Brandon Vollmer 3-0-0, Alexx Tyger 0-1-0, David Aul 2-0-0, Rudy Gleixner 1-0-0, Quinn Cunningham 2-0-1, Nick Burdick 0-1-0, Mitchell Meyer 3-0-1, Luke Schreiber 2-0-0. Totals 24-6-5.
Score by innings R
Coudersport 000 201 2 5
St. Marys 300 210 x 6
Dutch JVs lose
The St. Marys Area junior varsity squad was shut out 9-0 by the Coudersport Falcons in four innings on Friday afternoon.
St. Marys had four hits in the contest as Tyler Yetzer, Justin Eckert, Kyle Leonard, and Shane Haberberger all singled.
For Coudersport, Xavier F., Kyle C., and Patrick B. each had a pair of singles, while Andrew B., Clayton W., Brian B., and Ian C. all singled.
Coudy scored one run in the first inning, another in the second, three in the third, and four in the fourth to take the 9-0 victory.