Meadville Tribune

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May 2, 2014

H.S. Baseball: Panthers top Trojans 4-2

SAEGERTOWN — Monday was a bit of a disaster for the Saegertown baseball team as it lost to Class AAAA powerhouse McDowell 9-0.

“We were so bad Monday,” said Panthers head coach Tim Crum. “We had six errors, hit a couple batters. We couldn’t catch the ball, couldn’t throw the ball. Even the (McDowell) coach over there, he said, ‘I feel so bad for you guys. You couldn’t do anything.’”

It was time for a reckoning for the Panthers.

“We had a couple nice team meetings this week, talking about getting re-focused, cleaning it up,” said Crum. “Every good team has a bad day. And we know we’re a better baseball team than that. And (Friday) we said, ‘You know what? We’re done talking. It’s time to get out on the field and play the game.’”

Facing McDowell for the second time this week, Saegertown rediscovered itself as it defeated the Trojans 4-2 yesterday at the Saegertown American Legion’s Ed Acker Field.

“‘Right the ship’ is what we were saying,” said Crum. “It wasn’t about revenge; it didn’t have anything to do with that. It was about playing ball the way we’re capable of playing ball.”

With the win, Saegertown improves to 13-2. McDowell takes its first mark in the loss column, dropping to 11-1.  

“Playing Saegertown baseball again, that was the goal,” said Panthers senior Mitchell Wood.

Wood and McDowell lefty Levi Wright squared off in an outstanding pitchers’ duel yesterday. Each pitcher had a no-hitter going through four innings.

Saegertown’s batters finally cracked the code on Wright in the fifth. Lance Neuscheler and Sada hit back-to-back singles. And then with one out, Tyler Walters singled to bring both runners home.

“Tyler Walters came up clutch,” said Wood.

Then Wood, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on a wild pitch. And Walters later came home on another wild pitch to make it 4-0.

McDowell finally touched Wood in the top of the sixth when Cody Ballay doubled with two outs. But Scott Sada neutralized the threat with an outstanding play off a hard-hit ball from lead-off batter Wright.

“Scotty made a huge play at shortstop in the top of the sixth — in the hole, back-handed it, one-hopper to first base,” said Crum. “It was a huge momentum changer. He made a beautiful play.”

McDowell then pressured Saegertown’s lead in the seventh. With two on and one out, Jake Sniegocki and Nick Christiansen hit consecutive singles to bring two runs home. But then Vinnie Carone hit a come-backer to Wood, who spun around to convert a 1-6-3 double play and end the game.

“Scott Sada had a couple nice plays,” said Wood. “That one at the end, I threw it to second, he adapted, felt it, threw it to first. It was a good, solid team win.”

The double play capped a marvelous outing for Wood, who pitched a complete game allowing two runs on four hits with no walks (two hit batters) and seven strikeouts.

“He pitched a great game,” said Crum. “It was a nice battle.”

Wright suffered his first loss of the year, allowing four runs on three hits through five innings. He walked seven and struck out two.

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