DANVILLE — When opportunities materialize — whether in the top of the first inning or the bottom of the sixth — one must cash in.
If not, plenty of negative waves can begin crashing over any baseball team.
So with the door wide open in the final inning, Selinsgrove took advantage, prying open what had been a really snug affair.
Since Danville would not go quietly, Brent Beiler’s Seals needed every run they pocketed to fend off the Ironmen and close out a 5-3 road victory.
"It was 1-0 and when it went to 5-0 you think you’re comfortable, but that’s baseball," Beiler admitted. "You never know."
No, you don’t.
Logan Hile’s late help preserved the win for hard-throwing starter Tyler Showers, who limited the Ironmen to two hits over the first six while fanning nine.
Every time Danville threatened — the Ironmen had runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth yet could not capitalize — Showers seemed to find another gear with his heater and blast himself out of trouble.
Danville lefty Hunter Marcheski was equally effective through six, utilizing a slow curveball that really stymied the Seals. Marcheski whiffed three and walked one, but also flashed a slick pickoff move that allowed him to nail three runners.
"He was ready to go," Danville coach Devin Knorr said. "He did an outstanding job of keeping their hitters off balance. You can’t ask your pitcher to do anything more. He battled all day. He did a great job when he got behind in the count.
"We just didn’t quite make enough plays behind him to give him a chance to win."
One unmade Danville play came with one down in the third when Evan Poust walked. Although Marcheski caught the third baseman straying too far, the Ironmen could not complete the throw to second to bag the hustling Poust.
An out later, Jake Nylund singled to left for the game’s first run.
And the score remained 1-0 until the seventh, when Beiler’s Seals took advantage after Showers’ liner to right was dropped for a two-base error.
Although Showers moved up on a passed ball — while Marcheski recorded his final strikeout — Aaron Zechman ripped a one-out single to center that made it 2-0 and Logan Sears lined a single to left that was misplayed for another error.
Poust’s RBI single and Ian Weaver’s two-run knock — both with two outs — ended Marcheski’s day.
"By rights, we might have been able to have Hunter throw a shutout today — and we end up on the losing side," Knorr lamented. "We’ve given up two earned runs this week in 24 innings and we find ourselves 1-2 for the week.
"That’s due to some poor defensive play and we haven’t had timely base hits."
"I feel like we should have handled ourselves better at the plate," Beiler said. "But we finally figured it out by the late innings. I’m proud of our team. We bounced back from that. Looked like it could have gone the other way."
Yet it did not.
Danville finally reached Showers in the seventh when Martin Klena opened with a single, moved to second on a walk and rolled home on Robenolt’s hit.
While Showers’ day was finished, Hile’s was just beginning.
"It was good to see Tyler come in there and throw hard," said Beiler, whose Seals were playing for the first time since April 6. "Looked good, had real good command. Got a little tired there at the end, but with the time off that will happen."
Several minutes later, after conceding Eric Sees’ run-scoring grounder and watching another runner race home on an error, the Seals celebrated the win.
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