Non-league challenge

The Dunkirk Marauders (3-2) rallied from a 7-6 deficit to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and defeat the Frewsburg Bears (1-4), 9-7, in non-league high school baseball action Monday.

Ryan Ruiz reached on an error to spark the Dunkirk rally. He stole second and then moved to third on a Kevin Burns sacrifice bunt. Drew Messina knocked home Ruiz on an RBI single to tie the game at 7-all. Frewsburg pitcher Bryce Raymond walked Alex Crossan with two outs and allowed a Nate Skubis single to load the bases.

Raymond walked Sam Pepe to score Messina and give the Marauders an 8-7 advantage. An additional run crossed the plate when Nick Thompson was hit by a pitch to bring home Crossan.

“The game went back and forth,” Dunkirk coach Frank Jagoda said. “We’re happy we got down 3-0, we came back, we got down 5-3, we scored a run, we came back and tied it … I was very impressed with how we performed, just coming back every time.”

The win marked the second tight victory in three days for Jagoda’s team. Dunkirk held off Bath County (Ky.) 2-1 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Saturday in a game that was tied at 1-1 until an Alex Kubera sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

“I think it’s outstanding to show some moxie early and battle back,” Jagoda said.

Both teams showed offensive firepower in the first inning.

Taige Johnson opened the afternoon for Frewsburg with a one-out double off Pepe and came home on a Trevor Spicer single. Spicer moved to second on an error and scored on a Peterson single. After Peterson moved to second after a walk, Brett Johnson brought him home with an RBI single.

Dunkirk answered back in the home half as Ruiz doubled off Spicer and Burns walked to put runners on first and second. Kubera brought both runs home with a single. He wouldn’t need to rely on his teammates to score as he moved to second on an errant throw and scored after two passed balls.

Frewsburg broke the 3-3 deadlock in the top of the third as Peterson singled while Pepe walked both Pat Caldwell and Brett Johnson. Peterson scored after a Dunkirk error and Bryce Freeman knocked a single to bring home Caldwell.

Pepe led Dunkirk’s offensive effort with two hits and three RBIs. He started the game on the mound with three walks, one strikeout and six hits allowed in three innings of work.

Crossan got the win after hurling the final four innings. He struck out five Bears – including three of the last four batters he faced – and allowed two walks and four hits.

“That’s his longest stint ever on the varsity level,” Jagoda said. “I was very happy with how he performed on the mound.”

Peterson led Frewsburg with three singles, a stolen base and a RBI. Taige Johnson had two doubles for the Bears while Brett Johnson had two singles and an RBI in a losing effort.

Raymond was credited as the losing pitcher after coming on in the sixth. Spicer started the game and struck out five batters in five innings.

Dunkirk opens CCAA Division I action Wednesday at Olean while Frewsburg begins CCAA Division II play Thursday by traveling to Cattaraugus-Little Valley.