JOHNSTOWN – In a game that was a must-win for both Martella’s Pharmacy and Brooklyn-2 SAYO Grays, Jared Dowey became a must-see player.
The Martella’s Pharmacy center fielder hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats while driving in seven runs as the Johnstown-2 club defeated the Grays 14-2 in seven innings on Tuesday at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
“It was a pretty big win,” Dowey said. “We needed that win, and we’re going to roll into (Wednesday) with the same approaches and same attitude.”
Dowey singled in the first, hit a three-run home run in the second, doubled in two runs in the third and completed the feat with a two-run triple to deep center during a seven-run fourth inning. Dowey also scored three runs while going 4-for-6.
“I was seeing (the ball) pretty well,” Dowey said. “I was going up there with the approach of ‘sit fastball early and swing away.’ ”
Martella’s Pharmacy – 1-1 in Pool A with a plus-2 run differential – took advantage of four Brooklyn-2 errors while also pounding out 15 hits, drawing nine walks and having two batters get hit by pitches.
It was a much-needed bounce-back into the win column after Martella’s Pharmacy was handed a 12-2 loss by New Orleans on Monday.
Johnstown-2 pitcher Mike Marinchak was awarded the win Tuesday after starting and limiting Brooklyn-2 to just one run on one hit over three innings.
“Jared Dowey obviously got us started from the get-go,” Martella’s Pharmacy manager Kerry Pfeil said. “Marinchak came in and did his job, especially in the second inning. Hitting’s contagious. Good pitching is contagious. That’s what happened. We’re very happy, for now.”
The Martella’s win paired with Columbus’ 16-6 loss to New Orleans at Forest Hills High School sets up a Wednesday clash of 1-1 teams in Pool A with a spot in Thursday’s quarterfinal on the line.
“This is why this tournament exists,” Pfeil said. “You want to be in these elimination games.
“It’s happening for us on a Wednesday and not a Thursday, but we’re going to embrace it.
“We love the challenge. It’s going to be a good, hard-nosed baseball game. (Columbus) has got a good program.”
After Dowey singled, took third on a two-base error and scored on Jake Ansell’s single, Brooklyn loaded the bases against Marinchak with no outs in the bottom of the first. Josuel Santos scored on a passed ball, but Marinchak escaped the inning by striking out two and coaxing a comeback grounder from Noel Medina.
Tyler Suder, who had two RBIs, gave Martella’s Pharmacy a 2-1 lead in the second with a base hit to right that scored Philip Dull. Two batters later, with Matt Frazetta also on base, Dowey swatted a first-pitch offering from Bryan Rosario over the wall in straightaway center.
Dowey doubled in two more runs in the third when his sharply hit ball down the left-field line plated Frazetta and Suder.
With Martella’s Pharmacy up 10-1 in the fourth, Dowey tripled off the brick wall in center to drive in Suder and Zach Ramach to complete the cycle.
During that seven-run frame, Martella’s Pharmacy picked up six hits and drew four walks against SAYO Grays pitchers Rosario, Jimmy Santos and Miguel Rosa.
Suder had three hits and scored three runs while Ansell, Jake Felton and Dull each had two hits. Frazetta scored three times.
Ansell also swiped four bases, showing that the Johnstown-2 club was able to play closer to its preferred style.
“We believe our offense is most effective with runners on base,” Pfeil said. “Putting pressure on. Making pitchers deliver pitches not in spots they want.”
Raymond Garcia had Brooklyn-2’s lone RBI when he chased in Kenny Scottborgh with a single to right in the fifth inning.
While the result wasn’t what the Grays desired, manager Eddie Pagan did point out improvements from Monday’s loss to Columbus.
“We played much better (Tuesday) than (Monday),” Pagan said. “I see that we carried more energy than (Monday, which) was a disaster.
“(Tuesday) was much better and (Wednesday) we’re going to get much, much better. We always play hard, always 110%.”
Following Tuesday’s game, the area near the Grays’ dugout on the third-base side was swarmed with young fans, which brought a smile to Pagan’s face.
“To get here, this is a beautiful place to play,” Pagan said.
“The competition is great. If we have to come back for the next 10 years, I’ll be here. I love this place and I love the people.”
Shawn Curtis is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5085. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnCurtis430.