May 25, 2013 7:00 a.m. ERIE —
The Saegertown baseball team took another confident step forward in the hunt for a District 10 three-peat, downing Wilmington 10-0 in five innings in the semifinals of the D-10 Class AA playoffs, Friday at Ainsworth Field.
"The boys were amped up," said Saegertown head coach Tim Crum. "We had a little workout before we came up here because the kids didn’t have school. And they came in and they were just having a good time. They were relaxed, joking around, we had a good little pre-game. They were in the zone — loose, relaxed ready to play. I knew we were going to have a good game."
The Panthers (18-2) now move on to the D-10 title game to face Sharpsville, which was a winner over Mercyhurst Prep yesterday, 5-4 in nine innings. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday at Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park.
Wilmington ends its season at 11-6.
"I think there is going to be more pressure on (Sharpsville) than there is on us," said Crum. "I think we should come in the same way we did (on Friday) — come in relaxed and play our game. We have great defense, very good pitching, and our offense speaks for itself. We should play, not with arrogance, but with confidence, and we’ll be just fine."
Not much to complain about on Saegertown’s side yesterday. The defense played error-free. The offense came up with 11 hits, including five for extra bases. And Saegertown pitcher Jacob Digiacomo pitched a scoreless gem.
Through five innings, Digiacomo allowed three base hits, walked two and struck out five.
"(Digiacomo) did a nice job," said Crum. "He was in command out there. He was throwing good gas. He stayed ahead in the count in most situations. And even when he got behind in the count he worked his way back."
Wilmington threatened only once in the game. In the top of the fifth, the Greyhounds got two aboard with two outs after a walk to Derek Nichols and a single up the middle by Josh Fleegle.
Lead-off batter Nate Anthony was up next. Anthony singled to shallow left field. Nichols made the turn around third and headed home. Panthers outfielder Scott Sada charged in and scooped up the ball, then fired a laser beam to catcher Tyler Walters, zapping Nichols at the plate to keep the ‘Hounds scoreless.
"That definitely pumped me up," said Digiacomo. "I wasn’t expecting him to round third, that was for sure. But (Sada) came up gunning and made a heck of a play."
Said Crum, "That was sick. It was a perfect strike. Tyler didn’t have to move. Tyler sat up perfect. Any kid will get pumped up after a play like that. So good for him."
The Panthers have yet to be scored on in two playoff games.
Saegertown went on to score two runs with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, ending the game early.
Drew Durasa led off the fifth with a single, making him 3-for-3 in the game. He also hit an RBI single and scored in the second, and doubled in a run and scored in the third.
"Durasa had the game of his career today," said Crum. "He was 3-for-3, stole third base twice. He’s not one of the fastest guys on our team. But he was reading the pitcher well, getting a great jump. He was on fire."
Matt Thompson sent Durasa home in the fifth with a triple that bounced away from Wilmington’s outfielder. Thompson went on to score the game-ender on a wild pitch.
Thompson was 2-for-2 in the game, singling and scoring in the second inning and drawing a walk in the third.
Tyler Walters also had a nice day at the plate, singling and scoring in the third and bashing a two-out, two-run homer to left in the fourth inning.
Other big hits included Austin Scere’s RBI double in the fourth, Luke Carter’s lead-off double in the second and Sada’s two-run single in the second.
"We have nine guys that can hit," said Digiacomo. "That’s a great asset for the team. When you have a No. 9 batter that can stroke one as good as anyone else, it’s a nice thing to have."