Chucks put together game-deciding third inning to sweep series from Beavers
PUNXSUTAWNEY — Balls take some odd bounces and the Chucks experienced a handful of these early in the baseball game on Wednesday.
Punxsy did not let the early deficit dictate its game by putting together a game-deciding seven-run third inning to overtake rival DuBois, 10-6, in Punxsutawney.
The Chucks (11-5) victory gave them the season series sweep of the Beavers (12-4). Punxsy claimed a 3-1 road decision on April 17.
"We got some bad hops early and the ball found some holes," pointed out Punxsy head coach Mike Dickey. "All-in-all, it was a good win against a good baseball team."
The Chucks pounded out 12 hits, with three coming from Ryan Sloniger.
The sophomore catcher produced three singles, scored twice and drove in three runs to lead the attack.
Ty Zimmerman lined a double and single with a run, while Dakotah Byers singled two times with a run and an RBI as the other two multi-hit Chucks.
John Matthews legged out a double with an RBI walk.
Jamie Bush, Michael Klingensmith, Garrett Zimmerman and Taylor Phillips completed the hitting with a single each.
Klingensmith went the distance on the mound for Punxsy. The junior gave up nine hits, two earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts.
"Klingensmith had a gutsy performance and kept battling considering he didn't have his best stuff today. It was a solid performance and we also had good timely hitting," noted Dickey.
Punxsy committed five errors in the first three frames to help the visitors go out to a lead in the first part of the contest.
In the top of the first, Klingensmith walked the game's first batter.
The Punxsy hurler enticed a double-play ball against his second hitter, only to see the first defensive miscue be made without an out recorded.
A bunt single loaded the DuBois bases before Klingensmith fanned the cleanup hitter.
A sacrifice fly and single through the right side gave the Beavers a 2-0 advantage.
Punxsy cut the margin in half in the home first.
With one out, Sloniger and Ty Zimmerman belted hard hits within the infield.
Jamie Bush followed with a free pass to load the bases. Two batters later with two outs, Garrett Zimmerman was hit by the pitch to plate Sloniger and make it 2-1, but was all the home team was able to score.
The Beavers were given a second pair of tallies in the top of the second. Two home errors put the first two DuBois hitters on base.
After an out on a fielder's choice, the visitors pushed home a run on a single before a third Punxsy error allowed the fourth DuBois run of the game to score.
The Chucks were retired in order in the home second before the Beavers added one more to their lead.
A leadoff single, a fifth Punxsy error and a second top of the third single extended the Punxsy deficit to 5-1.
Punxsy would not be held down a second time through its batter order.
Sloniger led off with a single to center field.
Ty Zimmerman put runners on second and third when he blasted a double off the middle of the center field fence. Both runners scored when the DuBois shortstop misplaced a Bush hit for a 5-3 tally.
Klingensmith drew a walk and Garrett Zimmerman lofted a single to left field to load the bases to chase the Beavers' starting pitcher.
Matthews was the first Chucks' player to face the new hurler and drew an RBI walk after fouling off various offerings.
Pinch hitter Byers tied the game at 5 with a hit to right center field.
The Punxsy scoring binge did not stop there.
Phillips helped the lower part of the Punxsy lineup produce with a two-run double down the left field line. Phillips moved to third on a fielder's choice before Sloniger knocked him in on a sac fly to right field for an 8-5 newly-found lead.
The score did not change again until the home fifth.
Byers laced a leadoff single to left field. Phillips laid down a sacrifice bunt which the DuBois pitcher misfired to first to put two on base. Braxton Giavedoni bunted his own sacrifice to move up the runners.
Sloniger kept his perfect day at the plate by driving a hard-hit line drive off the pitcher's glove for a two-run single and 10-5 lead.
DuBois received a leadoff solo home run in the top of the sixth.
Klingensmith would work out of a bases loaded situation to retire the side with a strikeout and foul out to catcher Sloniger.
The Punxsy pitcher sent down DuBois in order in the seventh to complete the victory.
Punxsy made it a clean sweep of DuBois for the day. The junior varsity Chucks won 12-2 in five innings against the Beavers in the adjacent diamond.
The Chucks return to action today when they face the Cardinals of DCC in DuBois starting at 4:15 p.m. for the varsity with the junior varsity to follow.