ALL IN A DAY’S WORK — The Springville-Griffith Institute team defeated Albion 13 – 7. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVLLE — Seedings in the Section VI baseball playoffs are meant to sort out various teams, from top to bottom. High seeds are given to the teams that have consistently won, throughout the regular season. Low seeds are often called the “bottom feeders,” because the teams did not win often enough.
On May 24, the Springville-Griffith Institute baseball team, which finished the regular season 5 – 9 and in a ninth seed, defeated second-seed Albion 13 – 7, to advance to the Section VI B1 Championship game.
During the top of the first inning, Springville could not muster up, and started the game with two quick outs.
Drew Scharra hit a two-out single and Tyler Conklin hit a standup triple, to score Scharra and ignite a 4-run first inning for Springville.
Springville did not look back, from there, and cruised to the 13 – 7 victory. Conklin finished the day 2 for 3, with 3 RBIs, to lead Springville to the B1 title game.
“It’s awfully sweet. We had a lot of good swings; a lot of good contact,” Coach Ron Tamraz said, about the game. “We really had the hitting shoes on today, against a really good team. The No. 2 team in the bracket.
“After the week we’ve had, our team has been playing with an awful lot of confidence,” he added. “They’re finally realizing that they’re as good as we’ve been talking about, all year long. Confidence makes a world of difference.”
INTO THE SUN — Billy Dickinson makes a catch, during a game against Olean.
After Albion responded to Springville’s early lead, cutting it to 4 – 2, the Griffins responded and scored 5 runs, in the third inning, to break the game open.
On the mound, Scharra went threw a complete game and struck out seven Albion batters. Springville has thrown two complete games in total, all year, and have come in back-to-back outings, as Kyle Crotty tossed a complete game against Olean.
“A lot of that is, when it comes down to it, with the pitcher,” Tamraz said.
“Drew had tough first couple innings. He had a tough time trying to find the strike zone; the ump was squeezing him, a little bit. He kept battling; he smelled a little blood, when we got a lead. He wanted to be there, at the end.”
Scharra loaded the bases, after walking Albion’s seven-hitter, but struck out the next batter, to eliminate that threat.
During the playoffs, Springville has defeated three teams that have a combined record of 31 – 6.
As a ninth seed, Springville is the lowest seed still competing in any sport, in Western New York.
The Griffins traveled to Orchard Park on May 30, for a tilt with Tonawanda, for the B1 Championship.
“The kids have been believing that they can do it,” Tamraz said, about Springville’s playoff run.
“[They are] playing with confidence and playing the way they can play,” he added. “They aren’t pressing. They’re relaxed, but focused. It makes a world of difference.”