HS BASEBALL: Indiana bounces back in Curve Classic
Refusing to let a strong week end on a sour note, the Indiana High baseball team scored eight runs over the final three innings of Saturday’s game and rallied for an 11-7 win over Bishop Guilfoyle in a consolation game at the Curve Classic, a three-day high school tournament hosted by the Altoona Curve at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona.
Its schedule plagued by the wintry weather, Indiana spent all week in catch-up mode and played five games in five days. The Indians played the last of those games Saturday and went 3-2 during the stretch, which included an upset section win over Greensburg Salem, one of the favorites in WPIAL Section 2-AAA.
“Playing five games in five days is a good opportunity to grow as a team,” Indiana’s first-year coach Rob Stossel said. “It was tough, and the kids definitely deserved a day off today, but we had a great chance to grow and bond as a team this week.”
On Saturday, Indiana had early 2-0 and 3-2 leads, but the Indians entered the fifth inning trailing 7-3 after Bishop Guilfoyle pulled ahead with a four-run fourth.
But the Indians didn’t panic.
They plated two runs in the fifth to get within 7-5, then erupted for five more runs in the sixth to regain the lead, 10-7. And the Indians did it with small ball.
“It started with (Tommy) DuBose’s hit, and then there was an error, we beat out an infield single, and the next thing you know, it’s a big inning,” Stossel said. “There were no extra-base hits. We just kind of scrapped together a big inning.”
Ryan Creps went 4-for-4 with three RBIs to power Indiana’s 12-hit attack. Matt Griffith was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Danny Clark was 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Sean Thompson was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Zach Schultz earned the win despite giving up all seven runs to Bishop Guilfoyle. He went five innings, striking out nine while walking six.
Indiana (4-2) visits Yough on Monday.
BLAIRSVILLE 4, HOMER-CENTER 2: Sophomore Scott Thompson was solid in throwing a complete game while his older brother, senior Bobby Thompson, delivered a key two-run single, and the Bobcats nipped the Wildcats in a battle of teams expected to contend for the Heritage Conference title this season.
With his team trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, Scott Thompson picked a good time to deliver his only hit of the day. His two-run single put Blairsville on the board and put the Bobcats ahead to stay.
Homer-Center committed two errors in the seventh, allowing Blairsville to tack on a pair of crucial insurance runs.
“Blairsville made the plays today when it counted,” Homer-Center coach Scott Bauer said. “We made too many mental and physical errors to win the game. Any time you play a good team like Blairsville, you need to make all the plays because you know they will.”
Scott Thompson finished 1-for-4 with the two key RBIs, Bobby Thompson was 1-for-4 with an RBI, and Reed Ratkus (2-for-3) was the only Blairsville player to finish with multiple hits.
Bobby Thompson earned the win, allowing six hits and six walks in seven innings.
Matt Jones went 2-for-3, brothers Isiah and Darren Carr went 1-for-2 each, and losing pitcher Austin Fairman produced the Wildcats’ only run with an RBI single in second inning.
Blairsville (2-1) welcomes Saltsburg on Monday, and Homer-Center plays host to Ligonier Valley on Wednesday.