Ford City in position for playoff berth but Sabers need Burrell loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Ford City took care of its part to stay in the baseball playoff race Monday. Tuesday, the team finds out if it was enough.
The Sabers pounded out 17 hits in five innings and capped the game with an eight-run fifth to remain — for at least one more day — in third place of Section 3-AA with an 18-2 win at West Shamokin.
The win allowed Ford City (7-7, 7-5) to maintain its half-game lead over Burrell after the Bucs defeated Apollo-Ridge, 8-2. However, the Sabers lose the potential tiebreaker after being swept by Burrell, which means Ford City needs West Shamokin (2-13, 1-10) to upset the Bucs in Tuesday's section finale to reach the playoffs.
“Everything kind of went to script for us. We just needed a couple more clutch hits during the year, but I think every team in the country can say that,” Ford City coach Dennis Montgomery said.
“The other teams are allowed to get us out, and the pitchers for Burrell, Freeport and Deer Lakes got us out when they needed to. Anything could happen, but as we stand right now, it looks like we didn't get it done.”
West Shamokin is the underdog against Burrell, the Wolves will go into the game hoping to end a tough season on a high note and snap a 15-year streak of playoff appearances by the Bucs.
“We've talked to the kids about it, and they know the situation,” West Shamokin coach Dave Powers said. “We're playing a lot of young kids right now, but we're looking at the next game as one more chance to lace them up, and hopefully, the result will be better.”
Ford City won the first meeting with West Shamokin, 4-2, but it turned in one of its best offensive performances of the season in the second meeting. Dave Lattanzio led the way with a 4-for-4, three-RBI performance that also included three runs scored.
All nine starters for the Sabers had at least one hit.
Lattanzio's first-inning double was the second of five straight hits to open the game as the Sabers scored five runs in the opening frame. The Sabers scored five more in the third and eight in the fifth to put the 10-run rule into effect.
Ashton McGinnis allowed two hits, two walks and one earned run to pick up the complete-game win with six strikeouts.
“I don't think there's any doubt we're playing our best baseball right now,” Montgomery said.
“Ashton has been a major plus for us. He's almost thrown four complete games in his last four starts. He's progressed to the point where he's beating the teams that we needed him to beat consistently. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get (No. 1 starter Justin) Retzer the same kind of run support.”
McGinnis helped his cause by going 3 for 4 and driving in two runs, and Retzer went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
Mick Galbraith doubled in the third and Anthony Rocco doubled in the fourth for West Shamokin's two hits. Galbraith later scored on a Ford City error, and Rocco plated the Wolves' other run on an RBI groundout by Eli Frailey. The loss was the 12th straight for the Wolves.
“You try to stay upbeat and optimistic with the team, but we've had a lot of days like this, this year,” Powers said. “It's been frustrating, to say the least.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.