Old Mill gets better of Northeast in 5-4 win

Going for double play lets Pats score winning run


High Schools

April 05, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

A gutsy gamble backfired and No. 9 Northeast dropped a 5-4 decision at No. 6 Old Mill in Millersville yesterday.

The visiting Eagles did something that major-league and college teams do routinely, but few high school teams would think of trying - they went for an inning-ending double play up the middle while the winning run was heading home from third.

Northeast (4-2) just missed the DP to give Old Mill (5-1) the one-run victory in the bottom of the seventh.

"We're going to play for the double play because we figure it's not as tough a play as playing up," said Northeast coach Marshal Kawecki.

"If we get the double play, we're out of the inning and come back and hit. You take chances. I have no regrets, just have to execute."

Here's the situation:

With the score tied 4-4 and Old Mill's Craig English on third, the Eagles had the infield up with Steve Johnson batting. Johnson was hit by a pitch from Northeast reliever Eric Brown, who took the mound in the last inning, to put runners on first and third with one out.

Old Mill's Jon Pavlis, who came in to get the final out in the top of the seventh with Eagles on first and third, came to the plate for the first time and the Eagles moved back into double-play depth. It looked like Northeast would pull it off when Pavlis rapped a hard bouncer right at second baseman Scott Pervola.

Pervola flipped to shortstop Steve Bowen, but the latter's hurried throw to first was up and pulled Mike Lawlor's foot off the bag by inches and Pavlis was ruled safe at first. English, who led off the Patriots' seventh with his second single, already had scored the winning run.

Old Mill coach Mel Montgomery was not surprised that Northeast gambled for two.

"If you have faith in your defense ... " said Montgomery.

"Last year we probably would have done it with Dan Carpenter [graduated shortstop] and English [current second baseman], they could turn a double play. That tells me he's [Kawecki] got a lot of guts and lot of faith in his defense. It just didn't work out for them."

The tough loss was tabbed on the senior Brown, who came on for sophomore right-hander Corey Spoone. Spoone, who gave up six hits and struck out eight, was outstanding through six innings despite a pitch count of 124 on a chilly day.

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