Tussey Mountain jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Rockwood in its District 5-A semifinal game Friday at Bedford High School. The Titans couldn’t keep the bats going and the Rockets came back for an 8-5 win.
The loss ends the season for the Titans with an even record of 10-10. After taking that early lead, Tussey Mountain was unable to build on it.
“We left some chances out there,” Tussey Mountain head coach Kasey Kuhns said. “Their pitcher mixed it up well and we didn’t hit very well after the first inning.”
Matt Leonard had his third three-hit game of the season and closed his year on an eight-game hitting streak. There were only two games this year where he did not get a hit. Leonard finishes at .508 with 20 RBI.
Dawson Rightenour had two RBI and was the losing pitcher in relief of Brady Villa. Rightenour allowed five runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in three innings of work.
Two walks started the game and then Leonard singled to bring in one run. Matt Watkins hit a sacrifice fly. Rightenour and Doak Hoenstine each plated a run for a 4-0 lead.
“We started hot and then got comfortable with a four-run lead. We never added on after that,” noted Kuhns.
Villa kept the score 3-0 for three innings. In the fourth Rockwood knocked him from the mound and scored five runs to take the lead.
A leadoff walk was followed by a home run from Andrew Weaver. Villa walked two more before Rightenour came in to pitch. The Rockets then took a 5-4 lead.
Jack Pletcher relieved Rhett Pletcher in the first for Rockwood. He kept the Titans off the board allowing his team the chance to rally.
The Rockets added three runs in the last of the sixth, highlighted by a pair of doubles.
Tussey Mountain scored one run in the seventh. A double play made two out and no one on base. After two walks, Rightenour doubled to score a run.
J. Pletcher threw 6.1 innings of relief for the win, allowing three hits, five walks, and striking out six.
The Titans had a good combination of seniors and younger players that did some good things this year.
“I can’t ask for anymore from this group of seniors. They’re a great group of kids,” commented Kuhns. “I wanted to get them to the next game and we had a chance.”