Greensburg Salem tops Derry in playoff atmosphere
It might be the midpoint of the baseball season, but Greensburg Salem's game Wednesday was a must win.
The Golden Lions (4-3, 3-3) needed to keep their playoff hopes alive, and senior pitcher Alec Shaw and junior right fielder Jake Hoyle delivered.
Shaw tossed a three-hit shutout, and Hoyle drove in two runs with two doubles as Greensburg Salem defeated second-place Derry, 3-0, in a Section 1-4A battle.
The Trojans (5-2, 4-2) entered the game in a virtual logjam at the top with Deer Lakes, Knoch and Freeport, but Indiana helped the Golden Lions' cause by defeating Freeport (6-3, 3-2), and Knoch (7-2, 5-1) handed Deer Lakes (7-3, 5-1) its first section loss 5-4 in 13 innings.
“We took the mindset that this was like a playoff game,” Greensburg Salem coach Bill Wisniewski said. “In high school baseball you're going to win a lot of games if you throw strikes, not walk anyone and let your defense make plays.
“That's what Alec did. He mixed his pitches well, changed speed and he kept them offbalanced.”
Shaw is a submarine-style pitcher. He slings from the right side a la former Pirate reliever Kent Tekulve and former Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry.
“I've been throwing sidearm since I started,” Shaw said. “I started going lower in the summer.”
“Alec pitched tremendous,” Derry coach John Flickinger said. “We knew we'd be in for a battle. He's a wrestler and a fighter. He just bowed his neck. I can't remember the last time we've faced a submarine pitcher.”
Shaw walked one and struck out seven.
Derry had only one runner reach second base, and that was in the third inning.
The Trojans almost got a runner to second in the seventh, but center fielder Andrew Rosenberg bare-handed a blooper by Alex Ulery and forced out Josh Bauer, who reached on an error, for the first out of the inning.
“That was a huge play by Andrew,” Shaw said. “I probably would not have finished if he didn't get the out. This was a big win for us.”
“It was a great play, but I felt we should have read the play better,” Flickinger said. “This section is so balanced that it won't be decided until the final week of the season.”
Greensburg Salem scored twice in the first inning. Rosenberg walked and moved to third on two ground outs. He scored on Robert Borbonus' infield hit. After Matt Wicker singled, Hoyle smacked an RBI double.
Bauer, Derry's starting pitcher, also threw well. He allowed six hits and only one run after the first inning. The third run came in the sixth as Hoyle doubled home Ryan Collette. Wicker also had two hits.