The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 12, 2014

Baseball: Shikellamy, Selinsgrove fall to consolation game

SUNBURY — Aiden Greak was terribly disappointed on two fronts Saturday.

First, he and his Selinsgrove teammates saw their Shikellamy Tournament semifinal game get away from them in one ugly inning. Then Greak learned his bat would have even more time to cool down when the tournament consolation game was postponed.

Poor conditions at the tournament’s auxiliary field, Pineknotter Park in Northumberland, forced games to be played solely at the high school field.

The host Braves opened with a 7-4 loss to Blue Mountain, and then Lake-Lehman broke a scoreless tie with five runs in the fourth inning of an 8-0 win over Selinsgrove.

The Eagles and Black Knights, longtime tourney participants, played for the championship. Blue Mountain won, 13-1.

The consolation game between cross-river rivals could be played during the week of April 21; coincidentally, the first of their two league meetings is April 23.

“We were ready to come back (Saturday) and play Shik; everybody felt ready to win,” Greak said of the postponement. “It’s tough.”

“It really was disappointing,” said Selinsgrove coach Brent Beiler. “To have that possibility to try to rebound, try to make a good day out of it ... to have that stripped away certainly hurts.”

The Seals (3-4) were limited to three singles in their semifinal loss — all in different innings, and two of them with two outs. Lake-Lehman starter Tyler Harry permitted only three batters to reach second base (two via steal), and all were stranded.

“When you get a person on base and then you can’t get anything going, it’s just frustrating,” said Greak, who singled with two down in the sixth. “It’s just a shocker when they get eight runs on you and there’s nothing you can do.”

Greak has been one of the area’s hottest hitters in the early going, well over .500 through seven games with a team-high eight RBIs. Saturday, between times he was left on base, Greak was one of 12 consecutive Seals who made outs from the second through sixth innings.

“So far I’ve had a pretty good go of it,” he said, “just being able to forget about the past game — short-term memory — and get ready for the next one.”

Rather than playing again on an otherwise beautiful Saturday afternoon, Selinsgrove won’t return to the field until Tuesday, home against Mifflinburg. Until then, the Seals will be stuck on scoring two runs in their last 13 innings.

“I think we’re OK, hitting-wise. I really do. We’ve got some guys that can really hit the ball,” said Beiler. “(Lehman’s Harry) threw well, but I think we’re better than that. I think it was an off day.”

Selinsgrove starter Isaiah Rapp sailed through the first three innings with just 36 pitches. He pitched around an infield error and single in the second by picking off a Black Knight at second base, and got an inning-ending double play in the third.

Even after Tommy Kolb’s leadoff double in the fourth, Rapp was an out away from another scoreless inning. Tyler Long, however, fouled off three two-strike pitches to work a walk and load the bases. A hit batsman and walk forced in the Knights’ first two runs, and, after a pitching change, back-to-back hits plated three more.

“I thought Isaiah was throwing real well up until that point,” said Beiler. “Suddenly ... he just ran out of gas, and it’s too bad because he was throwing excellent. His changeups were good; his location was excellent; and he was even getting a lot of strikeouts.”

Rapp allowed just three hits and fanned five in 3 2/3 innings.

Lake-Lehman scored a run in the fifth and two more on consecutive sacrifice flies after filling the bases in the sixth.

In addition to Greak, Austin Benner and Tyler Cook had hits for the Seals.

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