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Springdale baseball team loses in 1st round of WPIAL Class A playoffs

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By George Guido
Monday, May 12, 2014, 10:06 p.m.

Six errors proved to be the undoing for Springdale on Monday afternoon in a WPIAL Class A baseball playoff opener at Mt. Pleasant.

Of the first eight runs Carmichaels scored, six were unearned, and the Mikes rolled to a 10-2 victory.

“I'll take any runs we can get,” Carmichaels coach Scott Van Sickle said. “That's how some games go. We made our share of errors, mentally, out there, but I'm satisfied.”

The Mikes (12-2), in the WPIAL playoffs for the 14th consecutive season, will play the winner of Tuesday's Western Beaver-Avella game. That game was rained out late Monday afternoon.

According to the WPIAL brackets, Carmichaels is slated to play Wednesday. That could give Carmichaels an advantage. None of the three Mikes pitchers who threw Monday went more than three innings, meaning they will be eligible Wednesday.

“I took advice from a few other WPIAL coaches,” Van Sickle said of his strategy. “I have all my pitchers ready to go Wednesday, and I'm happy about that. “

The Dynamos (9-8), who had won seven of their past nine, exited the playoffs in the first round for the third straight year.

“The story of the game certainly was the unearned runs,” Springdale coach Randy Eaton said. “We didn't do what we came here to do. We didn't field the ball, we didn't throw the ball. We didn't do anything we were supposed to do (Monday).”

Ryan Zalar reached base three times on errors and scored twice as the Dynamos were limited to six hits.

With the combination of the unearned runs, five walks and two hit batsmen, the Mikes needed just six hits to score their 10 runs.

In the first inning, Zalar reached on an error, advanced to second on walk, took third on a balk and scored on a single by Ty Cole.

Cole, however, missed first base and was out via appeal. That put Dynamos right-hander Alex Demonte in a position to pitch out of a jam, but Brandon Lawless slapped a two-run single to right to give the Mikes a 3-0 lead.

Adam Lock started the Springdale second with a single and scored on Michael Banachowski's base hit.

The Dynamos were poised to get on the board in the third, loading the bases with one out. But Hunter Stihler struck out and Alex Pane flied to right.

Van Sickle relieved Lawless with Corey Fuller, the eventual winning pitcher.

Fuller surrendered a run in the fourth. Banachowski reached base on an error at third and came home on Demonte's double.

Demonte (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season.

“We had a great outing from our pitcher,” Eaton said. “He's a senior that you can't say enough about. Alex has done everything we've wanted him to do the last three years. Our mental lapses and the inability to make routine plays cost us this game here (Monday).”

Springdale won its only other WPIAL playoff game against Carmichaels in 2007, emerging with a 12-6 quarterfinal victory.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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