Avonworth hoping to swing into playoffs

Avonworth freshman outfielder Alex Osbourn scoring in the fourth inning. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

By J.J. IGIMS

Avonworth was hoping that the power of momentum would swing them into the playoffs, and that is just what is happening. The Antelopes defeated Quaker Valley 4-3 in a home game on Wednesday.

The team brought that momentum into the game after pulling out two high-scoring wins that saw them defeating Freedom 17-6 last Friday and Burgettstown 16-5 last Monday.

Avonworth used three pitchers in the QV win: junior Nate Slenska, junior Brach Herzig, and senior Chris O'Malley. Slenska pitched until the fifth inning when Herzig was brought in as a reliever, followed by O'Malley, who came in for the last inning from playing third base to hold off Quaker Valley and ensure the victory.

The offensive front for the team landed six hits, and enough runs were driven in to secure the victory. The four runs were hitched in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, after the Antelopes had been down most of the game. The game was not tied up until the fourth inning, after Quaker Valley drove in two runs in the second and another in the fourth.

Quaker Valley's pitching included Tyler Garbee, who has signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Akron next season. Garbee pitched the whole game.

A key play to take the lead was made in the sixth inning when Slenska stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and with two outs. Slenska took a pitch in his right arm to advance all the runners, giving Avonworth a one-run lead. The team then shut out Quaker Valley in the seventh inning to take home the win.

The team's playoff chances were greatly improved with the victory on Tuesday, but head coach Phil Coffin said they still have some work to do:

"We got to get there first. We are starting to just put everything together. Executing simple baseball will help you win games. We have really improved in the batter's box. We are hitting the ball hard the entire line-up. I could not be more proud of my team."

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