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Springdale baseball rallies for extra-inning win

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Bill Shirley | For the Valley News Dispatch
Springdale pinchrunner Michael Banachoski slides safely past the tag of Leechburg's catcher R.J. Rich for the winning run Thursday, May 2, 2013, in West Leechburg.
Top high school sports
By George Guido
Thursday, May 2, 2013, 10:03 p.m.
 

Two local schools that have locked horns for many battles over the past 85 years had another memorable contest Thursday afternoon.

With a WPIAL Class A playoff spot on the line, Leechburg erased a four-run deficit in regulation. Springdale, however, pushed across three runs in the top of the eighth and posted an 11-8 victory over the Blue Devils at West Leechburg Field.

The Dynamos have a 3-4 section mark, 5-6 overall.

Springdale has one Section 4-A game left Friday with Riverview. The Dynamos then await the WPIAL playoff pairings, which will be released next Friday. The playoffs begin May 13.

The Dynamos and coach Randy Eaton know they will go into the postseason as a decided underdog that will be hoping for a strong performance and some favorable bounces.

“That's all you can do,” Eaton said. “The playoffs are wide open for anybody. We'll arguably be the lowest seed. But all we ask is a chance to go out and play our game.”

Leechburg concluded its season at 2-7, 2-6.

The Blue Devils trailed, 8-4, going into the bottom of the fifth. Three singles and two Dynamos errors brought home three runs to make it 8-7.

In the sixth, Taylor Oberdorf opened with a walk, stole second, and went to third when a pick-off move went awry.

One out later, P.J. Rich's grounder brought home Oberdorf to tie the game.

In the eighth, Justin Klein, who continues to recover from off-season, open-heart surgery, led off with an infield single.

Alex Demonte slammed a single to right, sending pinch runner Michael Banachoski to third. Freshman Alex Pane then hit a bouncer to second, but Banachoski beat the throw home to give the Dynamos the lead for good.

Austin Tocco's double drove in the final two runs of the game.

After two Leechburg singles in the eighth, Springdale second baseman Jake Helman started a double play to end the nearly three-hour tussle.

John Kern had two doubles for the Dynamos and pitched the first five innings, striking out eight.

“Our teammates pulled together and did everything we're supposed to do,” Kern said. “My teammates picked me up and we got the win.”

Demonte pitched the final three innings to record the victory.

“Kern had thrown quite a few pitches, and we monitor those things,” Eaton said. “We knew we had Demonte, our ace, coming back and knew we'd go to him if the game was tight.”

Jared Ravotti had three singles to lead Leechburg.

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