BROOKVILLE — It is officially postseason baseball for the Curwensville Golden Tide, something that has not occurred in several years. With a winning season intact, the second part of the campaign began on Tuesday evening. The opposition for the first round of the playoffs came from the second seeded Brookville Raiders, who were ready to utilize their home field advantage.
But this Curwensville team, the seven seed, is different, and despite not having a high amount of hits on the day, they came at critical moments. The Tide are not done this season as they will continue on in the postseason thanks to a 4-2 triumph over the Raiders.
Neither team found a way to score through three innings, as a pitching duel between the Tide’s Jake Mullins and the Raiders’ Jace Miner was thrilling the crowd. Between the two of them, they would strike out 18 batters and walk only five.
Curwensville would get on the board first in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, Jake McCracken looked to steal third, but Jamison Rhoades showed his cannon of an arm as he hurled back to second base, and at that point McCracken was in a rundown, eventually getting tagged out.
Once the chaos ended, Shane Sunderlin cracked a liner into right field. Mullins, who reached on an error in the prior at-bat, would hustle his way around from first to put the first run across the plate.
That one-run advantage would not last, as Brookville answered in the bottom of the inning.
The inning began when Miner reached first as Tyler Lee could not handle the line drive. Two batters later, Chase Palmer looked down a two ball-one strike pitch, and blasted a hard grounder up the first base line that made its way all the way to the wall in right field. The hit would bring Miner home, and the RBI-triple would tie the game at one run a piece. In the next at-bat, Bryce Rafferty hit a grounder right to Keegan Wilson at first base. It meant an out, but it also meant Palmer would make his way home for the second run in as many batters. The 2-1 advantage gave Brookville a lot of energy.
That energy evaporated one inning later.
Curwensville would load the bases with one out with a pair of walks and a single. Mullins then connected on a two-RBI single into center field, bringing around Spencer Hoover and Thad Butler to put Curwensville in the lead, 3-2.
That would be the final lead change of the day, handing Miner the loss on the afternoon. He would pitch four and one-third innings, striking out 10 while walking five. Mullins, who would pitch a complete game, got the victory, striking out eight and recording no walks.
Curwensville added a fourth run in the final inning, once again from Mullins, an RBI-single that brought McCracken to the plate. When the sides swapped, Mullins managed to escape a two-out jam with runners on first and second when McCracken pulled down a final flyout to give the Tide the victory, and ending Brookville’s season.
With their 12th win secured, Curwensville (12-8) now plays Kane, a 7-0 winner over Redbank Valley, in DuBois, on Thursday in the AA semifinals.
SCORE BY INNING
Curwensville 000 120 1 – 4 5 2
Brookville 000 200 0 – 2 3 2
Curwensville – 4
Spencer Hoover-C 2100, Thad Butler 3110, Keegan Wilson-1B 3000, Jake McCracken-CF 3110, Jake Mullins-P 4123, Matt Brown-DH 2000, Shane Sunderlin-3B 4011, Chase Graham-RF 3000, Tyler Lee-2B 2000, Nick Fegert-CR 0000. TOTALS 26 4 5 4.
Brookville – 2
Jace Miner-P/1B 3110, Hunter Geer-CF 3000, Chase Palmer-SS 3111, Bryce Rafferty-1B/P 3001, Hunter Roney-2B 3010, Jamison Rhoades-C/P 2000, Carson Weaver-CF 1000, Carter Kessler-RF/LF 2000. TOTALS 23 2 3 2.
E: C. Fegert, Lee/Geer, Caylor
2B: McCracken, Sunderlin
HBP: Brown/Weaver, Rhoades
CS: Weaver, Miner
Curwensville: Mullins-7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 8 SO, 0 BB.
Brookville: Miner-4.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 10 SO, 5 BB; Rafferty-0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 1 BB; Rhoades-2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 SO, 0 BB.