Salesianum baseball team celebrates after a run scores in their win over Sussex Central. Photo by Nick Halliday

Salesianum upsets No. 1 Central to advance to state championship 

Nick HallidayHeadlines, Sports

Salesianum baseball team celebrates after a run scores in their win over Sussex Central. Photo by Nick Halliday

Salesianum baseball team celebrates after a run scores in their win over Sussex Central. Photo by Nick Halliday

In the second game of the DIAA Baseball state championship semifinals No. 1 Sussex Central Golden Knights hosted No. 13 Salesianum Sals. The Sals came into this game the lowest seeded team, but is playing some of their best baseball right now. The Golden Knights have been one of if not the top team all season. 


The Sals continued their hot play by getting on the scoreboard first to jump out to a 2-0 lead over the top seeded Golden knights. Salesianum’s Jude Swift and Michael Dell’Oso drew back to back walks to lead off the inning putting runners on first and second with no outs. 


Tre Villanova of Sallies laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded, but the throw got past the first baseman and up the right field line that allowed Jude swift to score on the error. After advancing to third Dell’oso was able to score on a sacrifice fly by Matthew McSorley for the second run of the inning. 


The Golden Knights answer in the bottom of the third with three runs of their own to take the lead. Central, like Salesianum, was able to take advantage of two lead off walks to Jace Jarmon and Osiah Kelley. Nate Burroughs stepped in the batter’s box and drove a triple down the right field line that scored two. Juaquin Rodriguez followed Burroughs with an RBI single to take a 3-2 lead.


Salesianum came right back in the top of fourth with two more runs. CJ Moxley singled to start the inning off followed by a walk to Landon Johnston. Villanova stepped up again for the Sals hitting a double to score another run to take the 4-3 lead. 


Central got both of the Sallies runs back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Dylan Briggs led off with a walk, then was sacrificed over to second base. Jace Jarmon allowed the sacrifice with a single to left  that tied things up at 4-4.  Then the Sals pitcher issued four walks to Kelley, Burroughs, Rodriguez, and pinch hitter Chet Furmanek which scored Jarmon to take the 5-4 lead.


In their last at bat in the top of the seventh inning the Sals needed one run to stay alive. Dell’Oso  led off the inning with a walk followed by Villanova who was hit by a pitch. McSorley stepped to the plate and drove a line drive into the outfield to score Dell’Oso to keep the Sals run alive. Tied 7-7 with an opportunity to win  the game, Central was able to load the bases with two outs, but was unable to score a run which forced the game to go into extra innings. 


In the top of the eighth the surging Sals continued to put the pressure on No. 1 Golden Knights. Moxley got the inning started with a single to center field, then he was sacrificed to second base. Gabe Swift followed with a single to left field with Moxley looking to score on the hit. As he came around third base he went through a stop sign from head coach Teddy Godfrey, but Moxley was able to force a bad throw which went offline allowing him to score and Swift to move up to second base.   


Swift was substituted out for pinch runner Brooks O’Hanlon. O’ Hanlon was able to take third base on a pass ball, and then also stole home on a pass ball to give Salesianum a two run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. 


James Lai who came in relief for Matthew Spiecher had a few rough innings but was now looking to close the game out and send Salesianum to the championship. Lai buckled down to strike out two of the last three batters to seal the 7-5 victory. 


Salesianum advances to the DIAA Baseball state championship this Saturday at 7pm at Frawley Stadium. The No. 13 seed Sals will face the No. 6 seed Caesar Rodney Riders.

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