COAL TOWNSHIP — On a sweltering Thursday morning, his pitches either sailing high or one-hopping his catcher, Danville pitcher Tyler Albertson didn’t expect to go deep into the game.
The Post 40 starter, after his team gave him a two-run lead, was scuffling in the home first.
Shamokin/Mount Carmel loaded the bases with no outs. Danville’s chances at holding the lead and Albertson’s chances of a long outing were quickly diminishing after he gave up a leadoff single to opposing pitcher Quinn Rollman, wild pitched him to second and then issued back-to-back walks to Jack Chapman and Damon Dowkus.
Albertson got the first out on a Logan Wills line drive to right fielder Andrew Haupt on which Rollman was unable to score. Albertson then got the next two batters to strike out swinging to end the threat.
“I know my teammates play good defense behind me, so we get out of tough situations,” Albertson said.
He admitted in that first inning, he doubted he would go far on the mound, but that his team’s early lead gave him some confidence.
“The key to the game was the first inning,” said Danville manager Harold Albertson, Tyler’s grandfather, after Post 40 gutted out a 5-3 win to even its regular-season record at 8-8 headed into next week’s Susquehanna Valley League playoffs.
“They loaded the bases with nobody out and didn’t score. That was huge, and Tyler settled down after that.”
Shamokin/Mount Carmel manager Ed Smink said, “They started batters off with the curveball, and the slowness of that just got our guys off-balance, and they did their job putting the ball over the plate. That’s a credit to their pitchers. They did what they had to do.”
Albertson scattered six hits before giving way to Chris Outt in the fifth. The latter blanked Shamokin/Mount Carmel on one hit the rest of the way.
“Our guys are definitely fastball hitters and speed hitters. They hit the faster pitching,” Smink said. “The Mount Carmel players and the Shamokin players like the faster pitching.”
Danville opened the game with two first-inning runs on two Shamokin/Mount Carmel errors, a single and a hit batter.
Shamokin/Mount Carmel got one run back in the second, but it very well could have been more.
Mark Wetzel drew a leadoff walk, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. He scored on a single by Evan Salamone. Connor Fenix’s attempted sacrifice bunt popped into the air in fair territory. Catcher Hayden Woland caught it and fired to first base to double off Salamone. Albertson got Rollman to ground out to shortstop to end that threat.
Doubles by Eric Sees and Andrew Haupt keyed a two-run third for Danville, with Patrick Yost and Jake Petro driving them in with a groundout and a single, respectively for a 4-1 Danville lead.
“I knew I hit it solid and I was just busting out of the box,” Sees said.
He said ending the season with a win should give the team a lot of confidence for the playoffs.
“We got a lot of energy going, and Tyler got out of that big jam,” Sees said. “We have some momentum and you want to be playing your best baseball at the end of the year.”
Shamokin/Mount Carmel made it 4-2 in the fourth when Chapman was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a Dowkus single.
Wagner, who took over on the mound in the fourth, limited Danville to one hit the rest of the way, with the only run scoring on a throwing error in the fifth.
Wagner led off the home fifth with a home run over the left-field fence to cut the deficit to 5-3. Stutzcavage followed with a bloop single to center field, but Danville turned it into an out when Stutzcavage initially tried to stretch it to a double and was gunned down by center fielder Alex Robenolt trying to retreat to first.
“You want the players to make some things happen, but you need them to know the situation,” Smink said. “They’re veteran players; they know what to do. But they’re going to make mistakes.”
Wetzel lined out to center for the second out, but after a walk to Salamone, Albertson gave way to Outt. He got out of the inning with a bouncer in front of the plate, and new catcher Patrick Yost threw him out at first.
Outt allowed just a Wills single the rest of the way, striking out four.
Both teams enter the Susquehanna Valley League playoffs next week, with the first-round games tentatively set for Tuesday on the home fields of the higher seeds.
DANVILLE 5, SHAMOKIN/MT. CARMEL 3
Danville`202`010`0 – 5-5-0
Shamokin/Mt. Carmel`010`110`0 – 3-7-5
WP: Tyler Albertson. LP: Quinn Rollman. S: Chris Outt.
Danville: Alex Robenolt, 1-for-4, run, stolen base; Eric Sees, 2-for-4, double, run; Elijah Hoffman, 0-for-2, run; Patrick Yost, 0-for-2, run, RBI; Andrew Haupt, 1-for-4, double, run; Jake Petro, 1-for-4, run, RBI, stolen base; Albertson, 1-for-2, sacrifice.
Shamokin/Mt. Carmel: Rollman, 1-for-4, stolen base; Jack Chapman, 0-for-1, stolen base; Damon Dowkus, 2-for-2, RBI; Logan Wills, 1-for-4; Wagner, 1-for-3, home run (4th, solo), run, RBI, stolen base; Anthony Stutzcavage, 1-for-4; Mark Wetzel, 0-for-3, run; Evan Salamone, 1-for-2, run, RBI.