DHS wins final two games of southern trip

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Dunkirk (2-2) finished its trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., with a pair of wins at the Mingo Bay Classic.

On Friday night, the Marauders beat Section 5’s Newark, 17-0, while on Saturday they ended their trip with a 2-1 win over Bath County High School from Bath County, Ky.

“From Tuesday to Saturday, you could see the guys understand more what they needed to do and how they needed to do it,” Dunkirk head coach Frank Jagoda said. “That’s what the preseason games are about and hopefully we can carry that into the league season.”

After its game Friday was moved from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Dunkirk didn’t actually take the field until 9:30 Friday night, and didn’t get back to its condo until 1:45 Saturday morning. The long night didn’t seem to affect the Marauders however, as they held on to beat Bath County in a tightly contested ball game.

“This was the best team we saw and the best pitcher we saw,” Jagoda noted of Bath County. “It was a great way to go home. From playing the night before, getting home late, getting up early, playing a good team – and playing errorless ball – it was a good way to go home.”

Drew Messina got the start – and the win – on the mound for the Marauders on Saturday, allowing a run on five hits while striking out four. Sam Pepe worked the final two innings, stranding the tying run at third base to end the game.

“I thought Sam came in and did an excellent job,” Jagoda said. “I thought he did well Tuesday and I thought he did even better Saturday.

“I thought Drew pitched a great game keeping a pretty potent offense – based on their swings – off balanced,” Jagoda added.

Bath County scored its run in the top of the first inning, before Dunkirk tied it in their half of the first on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Alex Crossan.

The game remained tied into the fifth when the Marauders went ahead for good, getting an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Alex Kubera.

“The whole (game) was good,” Jagoda said. “Everything that happened on Saturday was good.

Kevin Burns was hit by a pitch to open the fifth, moved to third on a double off the bat of Messina and then scored on Kubera’s sac fly.

“Knowing the situation in the fifth,” Jagoda began, “and just taking advantage of what we were given … There weren’t many chances, but we took what we were given.”

On Friday night, the Marauders wasted little time jumping out to a commanding lead as they scored four runs in the first, two in the second and two in the third, before scoring eight in the fifth.

“What was nice was we were patient at the plate,” Jagoda said. “We took advantage of a depleted pitching staff on the other side and we learned how to put a team away when we had the opportunity.”

Burns (two RBIs), Ryan Ruiz (four runs, two stolen bases, RBI) and Crossan (RBI) all had two hits while Kubera added a hit and three RBIs. Also for Dunkirk, Messina added a base hit and three RBIs, Nate Skubis had a hit and an RBI, Nick Thompson had a trio of RBIs on a sacrifice fly and two bases-loaded walks, and Tyreek Buchanan-Ruiz added two RBIs on two bases-loaded free passes of his own.

Kevin Burns picked up the win on the hill for the Marauders, tossing all five innings, allowing two hits while striking out 12 and walking one.

“Kevin threw well,” Jagoda said. “He had a nice breaking ball. It was real sharp and I don’t think anyone would have hit him.”

Dunkirk will play its first home game of the season today when it hosts Frewsburg at 4:30 on Al Stuhlmiller Field.