The Elk County Catholic Crusaders defeated the St. Marys Area Flying Dutchmen 4-2 in a cross-town rivalry game played Friday afternoon at Berwind Park.
"In a cross-town rivalry game you never know what's going to happen," said ECCHS coach Fr. Eric Vogt. "We bring out the best in them and they bring out the best in us. It's been that way for years."
Jack Herzing started on the mound for the Crusaders and worked five innings, giving up four hits, walking two, and striking out six. Ben Daghir worked two innings of relief, giving up one hit, walking one, and striking out two.
"Jack did a great job starting and Ben came in and shut the door," Vogt said.
Brandon Vollmer started on the mound for the Dutchmen and worked three innings, giving up six hits, walking two, and striking out one. Ryan Uhl worked the final four innings in relief, giving up three hits, walking three, and striking out five.
The Crusaders had nine hits in the game. Ben Daghir had a triple and a single, Ricky Pearsall and Brock McCullough each had a pair of singles, and Luke Daghir, Sam Schneider and Jack Herzing each had a single.
The Dutchmen had six hits in the contest. Kevin Hoy had a double and a single, Jordan Weinzierl had two singles, Ryan Uhl had a double, and Justin Quiggle had a single.
"It doesn't help that we swing at balls in the dirt all game and let their pitcher get ahead like that," said SMAHS coach Tony Azzato. "A lot of things didn't go our way today. We didn't help the cause by swinging at balls in the dirt like we did. We'll put it behind us and get ready for next week."
Quiggle started off the top of the first inning by striking out. Weinzierl was hit by a pitch to advance to first. The next two batters, Hoy and Uhl, were both thrown out at first to end the Dutchmen's half of the inning with one man left on base. In the bottom of the first, Pearsall singled and was able to advance to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wehler. A single by Luke Daghir scored Pearsall. Ben Daghir singled to advance his brother. McCullough hit a ground ball to the shortstop and was thrown out at first; however, the play allowed Luke Daghir to score, putting the Crusaders up 2-0. Jake Cortina walked and Kyle Schneider hit a ground ball to the pitcher and was thrown out at first, ending the inning with two men left on base.
The Dutchmen went down in order in the top of the second inning. Sam Schneider started off the bottom half of the second inning with a single and later stole second. Herzing singled and Schneider attempted to score; however, he was unable to beat the throw to home and was tagged out. Herzing later stole second. Pearsall hit a ground ball to the second baseman and was unable to beat the throw to first and Wehler struck out to end the inning, leaving one man on base.
Nate Geist started off the top of the third inning by being thrown out at first after hitting a ground ball to the pitcher. Bob Vollmer was also thrown out at first after grounding to the shortstop. Quiggle reached first on a bunt, and Weinzierl was thrown out at first after grounding to the third baseman, ending the inning with one man left on base. The Crusaders went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
Kevin Hoy doubled to start the fourth inning. Up next, Uhl hit a double and was able to advance to third on an error, scoring Hoy in the process to cut Elk Catholic's lead 2-1. Luke Nicklas struck out. Rocco Harshbarger was thrown out at first after grounding to the shortstop. Robert Watts was hit by a pitch to advance to first, and Geist flied out to second base to end the Dutchmen's half of the inning, leaving two men on base. Uhl took over on the mound in the bottom half of the inning, walking Cortina and striking out Kyle Schneider, Sam Schneider and Herzing.
In the top of the fifth, Bob Vollmer struck out. Quiggle singled to reach first. Weinzierl also singled and Quiggle was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice. Hoy walked, and Uhl was intentionally walked to load the bases for the Dutchmen, but they were unable to capitalize as Nicklas struck out. Pearsall started out the home half of the inning by flying out to the first baseman. Wehler walked. Luke Daghir was thrown out at first after grounding to the second baseman. A triple by Ben Daghir scored Wehler and a single by McCullough scored Daghir, putting the Crusaders up 4-1. Cortina struck out to end the inning, leaving one man on base.
Ben Daghir took over pitching in the top of the sixth inning, sending the Dutchmen down in order. In the bottom half of the inning, Josh Feldbauer flied out to left field and Joe McLaughlin flied out to second base to bring about the first two outs. Pat Brennen walked and advanced to second on a single by Pearsall. Wehler struck out to end the inning, leaving two men on base.
The top of the seventh inning got underway with Bob Vollmer grounding out to first base. Quiggle flied out to left field for the second out. Weinzierl walked and advanced to second on a balk by Daghir. Hoy singled to score Weinzierl, cutting the Crusaders' lead to 4-2; however, Uhl was thrown out at first to end the game.
Both teams will advance to their respective District IX playoffs. The Crusaders finished their regular season with a record of 15-3. Following the game, Vogt expressed his appreciation to his assistant coaches, Tom Zampogna, Rick Polinski, and Russ Daniels for their "tireless work in getting the team ready to play" this season.
"They worked very hard and it showed with the kids' performance," Vogt said.
The Dutchmen finished their regular season with a 10-9 record.
Justin Quiggle 4-0-2, Jordan Weinzierl 2-1-1, Kevin Hoy 3-1-2, Ryan Uhl 3-0-1, Luke Nicklas 3-0-0, Rocco Harshbarger 2-0-0, Brandon Vollmer 0-0-0, Robert Watts 2-0-0, Nate Geist 3-0-0, Bob Vollmer 3-0-0, Dalton Kline 1-0-0. Totals 26-2-6.
Ricky Pearsall 4-1-2, Eric Wehler 0-1-0, Luke Daghir 3-1-1, Ben Daghir 2-1-2, Brock McCullough 3-0-2, Jake Cortina 0-0-0, Kyle Schneider 2-0-0, Sam Schneider 2-0-1, Jack Herzing 2-0-1, Pat Brennen 0-0-0, Joe McLaughlin 1-0-0, Josh Feldbauer 1-0-0. Totals 20-4-9.
Score by innings R
SMAHS 0001001 2
ECCHS 200020x 4