Youngsville finds a way, rallies for 6-5 win over Maplewood
WARREN — It’s been an emotional 24 hours for the Youngsville baseball team.
On Wednesday evening, the Eagles dropped a heartbreaking extra-inning decision to Saegertown and earlier Thursday many of the players found themselves locked down at school due to a police investigation in the Youngsville area.
The school lockdown forced Thursday’s game to be moved from Youngsville to Old Legion Field in Warren where a game Maplewood Tigers team awaited.
For the second time in as many days, Youngsville found itself in extra innings only this time the end result was a 6-5 victory over the Tigers to improve to 12-3 on the season.
Speedy senior Ethan Senz raced home from third after a wild pitch with one out in the bottom of the eighth, breaking the deadlock and getting the Eagles back on the winning track.
“Not all wins are pretty and this was one of those,” said Youngsville coach Eddie Dorunda. “We started off slow after last night’s tough loss and just did not feel like we were in the game until halfway through. We found a way to pull it out and that’s what good ball teams do, find a way.”
Much like Wednesday’s contest with Saegertown, things looked bleak early on for the Eagles as they spotted the opposition a 4-0 lead for the second consecutive day.
Maplewood’s Andrew Proper scored on a first-inning Eagles error and moments later Jacob Woge scored to make it 2-0. One inning later, Landyn Reynolds delivered a two-run double that doubled the advantage and made it 4-0 in favor of the Tigers.
While the slow start mirrored that of Wednesday, so did the response to it.
Little by little, Youngsville began chipping away at the deficit, beginning with a Nathan Lucks two-out RBI double in the third that cut the deficit to 4-1.
In the fourth, Youngsville got within two thanks to an RBI groundout from Talon Mesel that scored Wyatt Dalrymple.
Keeping with the trend, the Eagles plated another single run in the fifth when Matt DeSimone was hit by a pitch, moved to second and third on a stolen base and fly out from Lucks before scoring on a passed ball to make it 4-3.
Maplewood would counter that run with a tally of its own in the sixth to push the lead to 5-3, but some clutch Youngsville hitting in the bottom of the sixth would soon lead to the game being tied.
This time, it was James Johnson who came through with the timely hit, crushing a two-out, two-run double that scored Ian Mancuso and Senz to make it 5-5.
Both teams failed to score in the seventh and the pitcher Dalrymple worked out of an eighth-inning jam to set up the walk-off Eagles win in the bottom of the eighth.
Senz led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. With Lucks at the plate, a wild pitch brought Senz home from third and sent the Youngsville bench into a frenzy.
DeSimone was the lone Eagles player with multiple hits, and Johnson, Lucks, Keegan Mesel, Dalrymple and Senz all had one each. Dalrymple came on to pitch in the fifth inning and really settled in for the Eagles. The sophomore allowed just one run on two hits while striking out three in four innings of work.
“We went for the win last night and it cost us our pitching for this game,” said Dorunda. “I couldn’t be more proud of Wyatt. He kept us in the ballgame by throwing strikes and limiting base runners. He let our fielders make plays and we kept chipping away from the fourth inning on.”
The Eagles continue a busy end run to the 2023 regular season with four games scheduled for next week. The first of those will see Youngsville trying to avenge an earlier season loss Monday at Cambridge Springs.