LeBoeuf’s Clark shuts down potent Dragon lineup

Warren’s Austyn Cummings connects on a pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning of a game against Fort LeBoeuf at Legion Field, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Cummings roped a RBI double to the left-center gap on the hit, but the Dragons’ rally fell just short in a 3-2 loss to the Bison.

Warren’s Ryan Rafalski and Fort LeBoeuf’s Riley Clark engaged in a classic pitcher’s dual at Legion Field Wednesday.

In a combined 12 2/3 innings, the pair allowed just one earned run. In the end, it was Clark’s Bison who came away with a 3-2 Region 7 win over Rafalski and the Dragons.

“It’s a tough region and runs are at a premium,” Warren coach Rick Eaton said. “We would’ve like to get the win at home, but that’s baseball.”

Both teams had a runner reach in the first, Dylan Proctor by way of an error for the Bison (2-4 overall, 1-1 Region 7) while the Dragons’ (3-2, 1-1) Mitch Grosch was hit by a pitch, but each were stranded. Both pitchers worked 1-2-3 second innings and Fort LeBeouf put the game’s first run on the board in the third.

Jaiden Cross drew a leadoff walk then, with one out, Cory Withers and Alex Jarrett drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Cross came home when Proctor hit into a fielder’s choice to put the Bison ahead 1-0.

Warren pitcher Ryan Rafalski throws a pitch during the fourth inning of a game against Fort LeBoeuf at Legion Field, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Rafalski threw six strong innings, giving up just two runs-one earned-on two hits while walking five and striking out four, but the Bison came away with a 3-2 Region 7 win over the Dragons.

LeBoeuf threatened again in the fourth. Dan Foltz walked and Clark singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Rafalski struck out Cross and got Withers to pop out to first to end the threat.

Grosch walked to start the bottom half and moved to second on Aidan Morrison’s ground out. With two away, Rafalski reached on an error and Grosch moved to third on the play. Ben Berdine’s pop up to third was misplayed and Grosch came home on the play to tie the game at 1-1.

The Bison retook the lead for good in the sixth. Derrick Shields reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a passed ball. Foltz followed with a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Clark grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Sheilds scored on the play to put LeBoeuf up 2-1.

Micah Passmore hit a one out double in the home half, but a lineout and strikeout left him stranded at second.

Joel Huck walked with one out in the LeBoeuf seventh and moved to second on Cole Dauson’s two out single. Shields’ RBI single to right scored Huck and proved to be a crucial insurance run for the Bison.

Warren shortstop Mitch Grosch fires to first.

“We did a lot of good things,” Eaton said. “We just need to be more consistent with it and sure it up. There were a couple of plays that made the difference.”

Down to their final three outs, the Dragons tried to stage a rally. Hunter Loomis reached on an error with one away. Ryan Arnold came in to pinch run for Loomis. Dauson then came on in relief as Clark had reached the pitch count limit. With two gone, Austyn Cummings fouled off the first pitch he saw, then roped a shot to left-center on the next pitch to bring in Arnold and put the tying run at second. Grosch walked and the Dragons had the winning run aboard, but Dauson got Morrison to pop out to second to end the game.

Clark was stellar on the mound for the Bison. He went 6 2/3, gave up just two runs, both unearned, on two hits, walked three and struck out eight. Dauson gave up a hit and walked a batter in his 1/3 inning for the save.

Rafalski went six strong for the Dragons. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits, walked five and struck out four. Nick Hussey gave up a run on two hits with a walk and strikeout in his inning of relief.

“Raf pitched really well,” Eaton said. “He only gave up two hits. We’re going to win a lot of games with that (pitching).”

Warren is back at home again Saturday when the Dragons host Slippery Rock as part of a baseball/softball doubleheader with the Rockets.

The first pitch for both games is scheduled for noon.

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FORT LEBOEUF (3)

Jarrett cf 2-0-0-0, Huck c 1-1-0-0, Proctor 1b 4-0-0-1, Dauson 3b-p 4-0-1-0, Shields 2b-3b 4-1-1-1, Foltz dh 2-0-1-0, Lewis dh 0-0-0-0, Sanflippo ss 1-0-0-0, Clark p-2b 3-0-1-1, Cross rf 1-1-0-0, Anen rf 1-0-0-0, Withers lf 3-0-0-0, Baney pr 0-0-0-0, Totals 26-3-4-3

WARREN (2)

Baldensperger cf 4-0-0-0, Cummings lf 3-0-1-1, Grosch ss 1-1-0-0, Morrison c 4-0-0-0, Passmore 3b 3-0-1-0, Rafalski p-2b 3-0-0-0, Berdine 1b 3-0-0-0, Swanson rf 2-0-0-0, Loomis dh 3-0-0-0, Arnold pr 0-1-0-0, Gustafson 2b 0-0-0-0, Hussey p 0-0-0-0, Totals 26-2-2-1

Fort LeBoeuf 001 001 1 – 3 4 2

Warren 000 100 1 – 2 3 2

DP-None. 2b-Cummings (W), Passmore (W). SB-Arnold (W), Swanson (W).

IP H R ER BB SO

Fort LeBoeuf

Clark (W, 1-2) 6.2 2 2 0 3 8

Dauson (S, 1) 0.1 1 0 0 0 1

Warren

Rafalski (L, 1-2) 6 2 2 1 5 4

Hussey 1 2 1 1 1 1

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