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S-GI varsity baseball limps into the playoffs

SLIDE TO SAFE ­— Springville’s Billy Dickinson slides into second, during a game against Amherst. Photo by Dave DeLuca.

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity baseball team ended its season with back-to-back losses, to Amherst and Pioneer. The Griffins traveled to Amherst on May 15. That game was knotted at 3 – 3, heading into the bottom of the fifth, but Amherst scored 8 runs, to break the game open. The Tigers scored 2 more, in the bottom of the sixth, to finish off a 13 – 3 victory against Springville.

Tyler Conklin went 2 – 2, with a run scored. Will Lawton went 1 – 2, with an 2-run single, in the fourth inning. The following day, the team took on Pioneer, for its final home game of the season. The evening started off with the team’s recognizing their three seniors, Billy Dickinson, Will Lawton and Joe Delio. Dickinson and Lawton are four-year starters for Coach Ron Tamraz.

The Panthers scored first, with 2 runs, in the top of the first. Pioneer scored 3 more runs, in the top of the third, all they would need, to cruise to a 5 – 2 win against Springville.

“We have to keep talking about things and try to get through to the guys,” Tamraz said. “I know how good we can be, but that’s why baseball isn’t played on paper. We aren’t doing the things we need to do, to win.”

The Griffins have combined for six hits, in the last two contests. Will Lawton’s single, in the bottom of the seventh, broke up Walker Green’s no-hit bid. Green pitched a complete one-hitter game for Pioneer, striking out six Springville hitters.

“That’s a big problem, going forward,” Tamraz said. “Once again, we’re underneath pitches and we’re back to hitting weak ground balls. I think pitch selection is one of those things that’s a problem, right now. When kids are nervous, they tend to swing at a lot more pitches than they should.”

Springville utilized five individual pitchers, during the last two games. According to Tamraz, getting behind in the count has been a problem. “You look at any baseball stat, when a pitcher throws a first-pitch strike, batting averages drop 150 points,” the coach explained. “When a batter has the advantage in the count, they can be selective. We’re swinging at pitches that we can’t hit well. That’s also the job of the pitcher; good pitchers get batters to swing at pitches they can’t hit well.”

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