The Elk County Catholic Crusader baseball team captured the 2011 Elk County Baseball Tournament crown Saturday afternoon at Berwind Park by defeating the Johnsonburg Rams by a 10-6 score in the title game.
The Crusaders were able to score at least one run in five of the six innings at the plate.
“We hit the ball when we had to,” said ECCHS coach Father Eric Vogt.
“The key to the game was when we were able to take the lead after the game was tied at three. But it was our timely hitting that won the game because Johnsonburg battles. They are a battling team. They don’t give up,” the coach added.
Ben Daghir started for Elk Catholic and worked five innings, giving up five hits, walking two and striking out five. Jack Herzing worked two innings, giving up two hits and walked one.
Andrew Nortum started for the Rams and worked 3 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and striking out two. Cole Peterson worked 1 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and striking out one. Quinn Luhr worked one inning, giving up one hit and striking out three.
Elk Catholic had 11 hits in the game. Brock McCullough had a triple and two singles. Ricky Pearsall had a double and a single, while Ben Daghir homered and Pat Brennen doubled. Eric Wehler, Luke Daghir and Sam Schneider each had a single.
Cole Peterson led the Rams with a double and three singles. Cameron Grumley, Quinn Luhr and Jesse Wolfe each had a single.
In the top half of the first inning, the Rams only sent three batters to the plate thanks to a double play. In the home half of the inning, Pearsall was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. With one out, Luke Daghir hit into a ground out, scoring Pearsall and giving Elk the 1-0 lead.
Each team left one runner stranded in the second inning. In the top of the third, Nortum walked and Wolfe singled. A double by Peterson scored Nortum and Wolfe. A ground out sent Peterson to third. He scored on a squeeze bunt by Grumley to give the Rams the 3-1 lead. In the home half of the inning, Pearsall reached base on an infield single with one out. With two outs, Luke Daghir singled and moved to second in the play. An intentional walk to Ben Daghir loaded the bases. McCullough singled to score both Pearsall and Luke Daghir, knotting the game at 3-all.
Johnsonburg left a man on base in the top half of the fourth. In the home half of the inning, Kyle Schneider led off with a single. With one out, Sam Schneider singled, scoring Kyle. Pearsall reached base on a fielder’s choice erasing Sam Schneider. A single by Eric Wehler scored Pearsall giving ECC the 5-3 lead.
Wolfe led off the top of the fifth with a walk. Peterson had an infield single. With one out, Wolfe was able to score on an infield out, cutting ECC’s lead to 5-4. McCullough led off the home half of the inning with a triple. Jake Cortina reached base on an error, scoring McCullough. With one out, Brennen doubled. Pearsall doubled to score both Cortina and Brennen, giving Elk the 9-3 lead.
The Rams left one man on base in the top of the sixth. In the home half of the inning, Ben Daghir led off with a home run to give the Crusaders the 10-4 lead.
The top of the seventh, Wolfe led off with a walk and Peterson singled. Grumley singled to score Wolfe. Mitchell Holmberg reached base on a fielder’s choice to score Peterson to make the final score 10-6 in favor of the Crusaders.
Elk Catholic, now 9-2 on the season, will travel to Bradford this afternoon for a 4:15 p.m. game.
Cole Peterson 4-2-4, Cameron Grumley 4-0-1, Mitchell Holmberg 3-0-0, Joe Holmberg 4-0-0, Zac Luhr 3-0-0, Quinn Luhr 3-0-1, Frank Kocjancic 3-0-0, Andrew Nortum 2-1-0, Jesse Wolfe 1-3-1. Totals 27-6-7.
Ricky Pearsall 3-4-2, Eric Wehler 4-0-1, Joe McLaughlin 0-0-0, Luke Daghir 3-1-1, Ben Daghir 3-1-1, Brock McCullough 3-1-3, Jake Cortina 4-1-0, Kyle Schneider 2-1-1, Josh Feldbauer 1-0-0, Pat Brennen 3-1-1, Zac Brody 1-0-0, Sam Schneider 3-0-1. Totals 30-10-11.
Score by innings R
Johnsonburg 003 010 2 6
Elk Catholic 102 241 x 10