Dunkirk (8-8, 5-6) rebounded from a 10-3 loss to Allegany-Limestone (4-7) on Tuesday by defeating the Gators, 12-4, at Al Stuhlmiller Field on Wednesday.
Down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, the Marauders plated five runs to take a 6-4 lead. After the Gators' Zach Johnston got the inning's first two outs on three pitches, the Dunkirk bats went to work as Nate Skubis, Nick Thompson and Juliam Fred singled to load the bases. A walk to Sam Pepe plated Skubis, before Alex Crowell came through with a two-run single to tie the game.
"Alex is getting an opportunity to play a bigger role now due to some injuries," Dunkirk coach Frank Jagoda said. "And he really came through. He was a big spark for us."
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder III
Dunkirk’s Alex Crowell laces a single against the Allegany-Limestone Gators on Wednesday.
Pepe and Crowell later came around on bases-loaded walks to put the Marauders up for good, 6-4.
Crowell finished with a pair of hits, including an RBI single in the bottom of the second for Dunkirk's first run of the game.
"Alex was the catalyst for our team morale," Jagoda added. "And he had two hits for the first time in his varsity career."
The Marauders added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-4 lead. Skubis walked, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch while Fred followed a similar path back to the dugout. The Dunkirk third baseman walked, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on an error for the 8-4 lead.
Winning pitcher Kevin Burns scored on an error in the bottom of the fifth for a 9-4 lead, before the Marauders added icing to the cake with a three-run sixth inning.
Pepe and Gianni DeJesus walked while Tyreek Ruiz reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Edwin Gomez scored Pepe on a sacrifice fly while DeJesus scored on an error and Ruiz scored on an RBI single by Alex Crossan.
Burns tossed six innings, allowed four runs on six hits and struck out and walked four.
"We didn't give him a lot of support in the first two innings," Jagoda said. "But he hung in there and continued to throw strikes. He really got into a groove in the middle innings. This was another good performance by him. He's been our guy when we needed to shut the door and get a win and we're hoping we can get another big win out of him on Monday."
The Marauders will play Wellsville, the state's top Class B team on Saturday, before traveling to Fredonia to take on the No. 2 Hillbillies.