Meadville Tribune

Sports

July 17, 2014

Lake/Linesville dealt heartbreaker

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Throughout the District 1 and Section 1 tournaments, Fred Garvey watched as his Lake/Linesville all-star baseball team battled time and time again.

So after DuBois put up nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 10-3 lead in the championship game of the Section 1 tournament, Garvey had no real qualms.

“We’re not done yet,” Garvey said to officials at the press box as he gave them his offensive substitutions prior to the start of the fifth inning. Garvey smiled and walked back to his dugout.

Garvey was wearing that very smile even    after the dust settled. But the same could not be said for the 13 players who battled in a heartbreaking 11-10 loss to DuBois on Thursday night at Fairgrounds Fields.

DuBois captured the Section 1 title and a trip to the state tournament in Perkasie on a walkoff single by Aaron Andrulonis.

“It (stinks) to see little guys crying,” Garvey said. “It breaks my heart.  Eight of these kids are 9 (years old). They’ll be back next year. I told them, ‘Look at it. Make sure it hurts a little bit, because now you know what you want for next year.’”

Lake/Linesville had control early and looked like it was well on its way to forcing the if necessary game today back at the fairgrounds. Lake/Linesville established that control by handcuffing DuBois’ stellar lineup with junk off the pitching arm of Alex Nottingham.

“That is something we haven’t seen in seven games,” DuBois coach Rob Jaconski said. “We’ve seen some people who are a little slower, but wow. He threw it slower. He didn’t have a real fast fastball anyhow, but then he threw it even slower.

“It kind of took us by surprise and the kids weren’t adjusting.”

Lake/Linesville, meanwhile, took advantage of everything thrown its way. Brady Walker scored on a passed ball and Ryan Richardson, who reached on an error, scored on another error in the first inning to give Lake/Linesville at 2-0 lead.

DuBois cut that lead in half in the second when Andrulonis scored on a fielder’s choice.

But Lake/Linesville came right back in the third. Nottingham reached on a one-out infield hit, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a single by Walker to put Lake/Linesville back up by two (3-1).

Then came the bottom of the fourth.

Eleven of DuBois’ first 12 batters reached safely in the fourth with the nine of those batters crossing the plate.

The inning was highlighted by RBI singles by Colby Estrada and Cody Jaconski. Lake/Linesville committed four errors in the inning as it saw it’s two-run lead vanish and DuBois take a commanding 10-3 advantage.

As Garvey said, though, Lake/Linesville was not finished.

Just as quickly as DuBois took that six-run lead, it saw it evaporate. Jayden Mihoci had a two-run single and Owen Garvey clobbered a two-run double as part of a six-run fifth inning by Lake/Linesville that pulled the gray and blue within a run.

Relief pitcher Brady Walker shut DuBois down in order in the fifth and Lake/Linesville went back to work in the sixth, plating the tying run on a double by reserve Braedon Schellman.

Could Lake/Linesville keep DuBois’ bats quiet for one more inning?

Chooch Husted became that go ahead run when he reached on a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. Walker buckeled down and responded with a strikeout, bring Andrulonis, who hadn’t batted since the second inning back to the plate. Husted, meanwhile, did his job on the base paths.

DuBois took a chance and gave Husted the steal sign. Husted bolted to second, the throw to second got past Lake/Linesville’s shortstop and sailed into center field, allowing Husted to trot into third with one out. Andrulonis made it count, roping a single straight up the middle to score Husted with the game-winning run.

“It was a 9-year-old,” coach Jaconski said. “He hasn’t done a lot of time, but he sees the ball well. Storybook hit.”

The celebration was on for DuBois, but not without paying its respects to Lake/Linesville.

In a classy move, when DuBois was presented the championship banner from District 1 administrator Bill Dithrich, the players and coaches asked for some company as it took the banner for a jog around the field. DuBois and Lake/Linesville, together, took the banner around the field, taking time to collect high fives from the large group of fans that gathered along the fence.

“It’s a team thing,” coach Jaconski said. “Everyone who made it this far deserves to be there. That’s why they were here. You expect them to come back, because you don’t get this far and lay down. That’s why they came back. That’s a good team.”

It’s a team with big aspirations going forward.

“We lost two games both by one run,” Garvey said. “What do you hang your head about? And we did that against two great teams. What a great experience for them.”

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