DUBOIS, Pa. – Behind a four-hit shutout from Garrett Starr, DuBois beat DuBois Central Catholic, 4-0, in the Fifth Annual City Classic at Stern Family Field in DuBois.
Starr struck out 14 while walking one and hitting a batter. At one point, from the first inning through the fourth inning, he struck out nine of 10 including six in a row from the first through the third.
Watch Starr get DCC’s Carter Kosko swinging in the second inning.
“You just have to trust every one of your pitches and eep throwing to the mitt,” Starr said. “You just have to pound the zone, and you can’t walk people. I was successful today.”
Starr, who said his slider was really working for him, had some early wildness at one point throwing six straight balls in the first inning.
That helped DCC put runners on second and third with just one out in the inning, but Starr regained the zone as quickly as he lost it striking out Dante Armanini looking and Brandin Anderson swinging to end the threat.
“I just zone up and trusted every pitch I threw,” Starr said. “I knew if there were ground balls hit in the field that my defense was there to play for me.”
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After the first inning, DCC didn’t threaten again until the sixth when the Cardinals – trailing 2-0 at the time – loaded the bases with one out thanks to a high chop over the third baseman’s head, an infield single to shortstop on a hit-and-run, and a strikeout of Anderson that saw Anderson reach first safely on a wild pitch.
But Starr, as he did in the first, locked in and struck out Kaden Brezenski before getting Kosko to ground out third to end the inning.
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After mowing down DCC most of the game, Starr turned to his defense in the seventh to help him get the complete-game shutout.
After Ben Gritzer singled leading off the seventh, Starr got Zach Spellen to hit a ground ball to shortstop Karson Field who flipped to second baseman Nick Farrell, whose relay throw to first baseman Alex Pasternak was in time to turn a double play.
“I was just ecstatic,” Starr said. “I loved every part of it.”
Then facing Matt Pyne, who was going to be his final batter no matter what because of the pitch-count limit, Starr got ahead 0-2 before Pyne roped a ball into the left-center field gap that looked destined for extra bases.
But centerfielder Chandler Ho made a diving catch to end the game and give Starr the shutout.
“He has been making those plays every since we were in Little League,” Starr said. “I know he gets one of the best jumps off the ball, and he sees every little bit of it.”
Watch Starr, who was named the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Game, doing the postgame interview with D9and10Sports.com’s Chris Rossetti
Through the first four innings, Anderson was matching Starr zero for zero, although he was pitching through raindrops to keep the game scoreless.
While Anderson struck out seven in four-plus inning of work, he had to work with runners on in every one of his innings stranding six Beavers through four.
In the first, DuBois had Starr on second with two outs before Anderson got Bryson Dinkfelt to ground out.
Then in the second, with runners on first and second with two outs, Anderson struck out Austin Mitchell.
In the third, Ho was at third with one out, but Anderson struck out Starr and Dinkfelt to end the threat.
The fourth inning saw DuBois put runners on second and third with two outs only to see Anderson induce an inning-ending pop out to second by Mitchell.
DuBois finally broke through against Anderson and relief pitcher Kaden Brezinski in the fifth.
Ho led off the inning with a hustling double, and Field was hit by a pitch. That ended Anderson’s day.
Starr, the first batter Brezinski faced, then shot a single to left to load the bases before Dinkfelt hit a shot down toward third that Spellen, just having moved over from first to third when Brezinski came in to pitch, was able to knock down and touch third for a force out. But Ho scored giving DuBois a 1-0 lead.
The Beavers then literally stole a second run when Pasternak, who had hit into a fielder’s choice that moved Starr to third while erasing Dinkfelt at second, took off for second.
DCC had a play on where the ball was supposed to be throw to the shortstop, but catcher Gritzer’s throw short hoped Damon Foster, the shortstop, going into centerfield allowing Starr to score to make it 2-0.
The game remained 2-0 until the seventh when Starr led off with a double, his third hit of the game, and Dinkfelt was intentionally walked.
After Pasternak flew out to center, Starr and Dinkfelt pulled off a double steal, and pinch hitter Mike Orzechowski shot a single up the middle to make it 4-0.
Starr was 3-for-4 with a double, two stolen bases, and two runs scored, while Orzechowski was 1-for-1 with the two RBIs.
Anderson took the loss going the four-plus innings allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits, three walks, and a hit batter while striking out the seven.
Brezinski gave up two earned runs on three hits and three walks in 2 ⅓ innings of work, while Spellen pitched a ⅔ of an inning scoreless.
DuBois moved to 5-6 with the win, while DCC fell to 5-6.