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 BY JEFF FALK

 ANNVILLE – There are two compelling arguments that can be made for staying on the proverbial ‘roll’.

 First, it is very difficult to get on said roll. And secondly, if one stops, it’s even harder to restart it.

 On a gray Friday evening at Annville-Cleona High School, the Little Dutchmen baseball team stayed on its current roll by pasting Pequea Valley 11-1, in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Four affair shortened to six innings by the mercy rule. Already ahead 3-1, Annville-Cleona posted eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, all in support of winning pitcher Sal Biondollo.

 The result was not made any less significant by the fact that the Little Dutchmen had already pretty much locked up berths in the upcoming Lancaster-Lebanon League and District Three Class AAA playoffs – for the seventh season in-a-row. With the triumph, Annville-Cleona improved to 11-6 overall and 10-6 in the section.

 With two non-league, regular-season contests still to play, Annnville-Cleona will take on Section One champion Hempfield on Saturday, May 11th, in the opening round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, at a site and time to be announced. Currently positioned fourth in the power rankings, the Little Dutchmen are also in line to host a District Three Class AAA opener, on Monday, May 20, at a time to be determined.

 The loss dropped Pequea Valley to 8-8 on the spring and 7-8 in Section Four.

 “We’re trying to take the approach that every game is a playoff game,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Mike Miller. “We’re going to keep going. I think they’ve (his players) responded well to that. I think the kids are doing a great job of buying into what we’re selling. They’re watching a ton of film and making the adjustments needed to get better.

 “I think the season has been a success,” continued Miller. “But we do have higher goals and things we want to attain. I’m still waiting for us to put our best game together.”

  “Today was important because it helped keep the ball rolling,” said Biondollo. “It helped us keep our momentum. It’s always competitive with Pequea. But we just need to keep it going.”

 Given its flow, the contest certainly didn’t have the feel of a ten-run, mercy-rule game. That is until Annville-Cleona sent 11 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored eight times to extend its 3-1 edge.

  Josh Speraw and Cameron Freeman each smashed two-run safeties during the Little Dutchmen rally, and for Speraw it was his second hit of the inning. Also driving home A-C runs were Andrew Long and Conor Williams.

 “He’s a very good pitcher,” said Miller, of Brave starter Adryan Yothers. “He’s a playoff pitcher. That’s what we’re going to see in the playoffs. You’re going to see a hard thrower with a nice curve. So the more we see it, the better off we are. The game unfolded pretty much the way I thought it would. We eeked out some runs.

 “This was probably one of our most complete games of the season,” Miller continued. “We pitched well, we hit well, we fielded well and we advanced runners – and it was the whole team. That’s what we’re looking for. Everybody has a job, and they did it tonight.”

 “We started off pretty good,” said Biondollo. “I was in a groove, then I got a little tired. But once I got a lead, I was able to work with it. Later on, we just put our nerves aside. We got ahead and kept putting up runs.” 

 Biondollo, a right-hander, was lights-out from the start. He retired the first nine Pequea Valley batters he faced and took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, before Zack Lynch’s RBI-single broke it up and pulled the Braves to within 2-1 of the lead.

 Protecting a 3-1 advantage in the sixth, Biondollo was aided by a double play, after Pequea Valley’s first two hitters reached on a single and an error. But Biondollo counted 88 pitches, whiffed a dozen – including the side in the second and third innings – issued no walks and yielded just two hits.

 “He was throwing hard,” said Miller of Biondollo. “That’s a credit to (pitching coach Scott) Mr. Shyda. He’s (Biondollo) in great shape. We try to keep him from pitching too much. Rest is important, and now he’s strong at the end of the season.

 “He’s consistent,” Miller added. “What you see is what you get. He’s always around the plate. He’s drawn our best competition, but every game is about the same. He’ll keep us in games.”

  “For the most part, it was pretty good,” said Biondollo of his outing. “I was able to locate most of my pitches. I over threw sometimes, but I tried to work with my catcher (Adam Long) and let the defense do its job. If I kept the fastball elevated, they (the Braves) didn’t touch it.

 “I’ve had a pretty solid season,” continued Biondollo. “I’m just trying to make improvements every start and trying to make adjustments. I’m trying to get better and gain experience, and just savor the moment.”

 Annville-Cleona’s ability to perform a little two-out magic staked Biondollo to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Three-hole hitter Adam Long doubled, before Jeremy Seyfert drove him home with a single.

 “I don’t know if it’s exactly what I expected, but it’s pretty close,” said Miller of the campaign to date. “We always want to win more games than we lose. I think we have a lot of baseball left in us. We think we can make a run in districts.

 “We’ve got a good group of kids,” Miller continued. “They’re all contributing. It’s a team effort, and we’re having a good time as a coaching staff.”

 It was Williams’ suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the third inning which pushed A-C’s lead to 2-0. Adam Long helped generate the small-ball run by singling and then stealing second and third.

 Then in the bottom of the fifth, Adam Long knocked in the Little Dutchmen’s third run. His run-producing single scored Tyler Long, who had led off with a double before being sacrificed to third by Andrew Long.

 “It’s been a pretty successful season,” said Biondollo. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but I think we’re going to stay locked in and keep playing our game. If we focus on each game, we’ll finish strong.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Annville-Cleona Baseball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
3/27
4:15 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
0
10
 
3/29
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
2
4
 
4/01
4:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
0
11
 
4/03
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
16
0
 
4/04
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
5
3
 
4/06
11:00 am
Conrad Weiser
at Annville-Cleona
2
12
 
4/08
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Donegal
0
10
 
4/10
4:15 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
3
0
 
4/12
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Garden Spot
9
2
 
4/16
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Annville-Cleona
11
1
 
4/17
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Cocalico
1
3
 
4/18
4:15 pm
Octorara
at Annville-Cleona
2
9
 
4/22
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lebanon
at Earl Wenger Field
3
0
 
4/24
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
19
4
 
4/25
4:15 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
7
4
 
4/29
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
18
0
 
5/01
4:15 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
1
6
 
5/03
4:15 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
   
5/07
7:00 pm
Tulpehocken
at Annville-Cleona
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAA Power Rankings
 
AAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Biglerville 14- 4- 0  0.636223  0.782609  0.457307  14.4  143.0  4.0  169.7
2 Oley Valley 12- 5- 0  0.598341  0.690691  0.485469  11.5  139.5  5.2  147.8
3 Lancaster Catholic 13- 5- 1  0.591913  0.714364  0.442252  13.1  147.2  5.2  185.7
4 Annville Cleona 12- 6- 0  0.557985  0.668605  0.422784  11.5  141.0  5.7  192.5
5 Brandywine Heights 9- 7- 0  0.482975  0.539216  0.414237  8.3  115.8  7.1  163.8
6 Pequea Valley 8- 9- 0  0.456994  0.461059  0.452026  7.4  144.2  8.7  174.8
7 Trinity 4- 9- 0  0.407499  0.302041  0.536392  3.7  148.5  8.6  128.4
8 Tulpehocken 5- 11- 0  0.389201  0.285276  0.516221  4.7  167.1  11.7  156.6
9 Schuylkill Valley 5- 10- 0  0.386747  0.282392  0.514291  4.3  138.6  10.8  130.9
10 Columbia 6- 12- 0  0.371450  0.312139  0.443941  5.4  146.1  11.9  183.0
11 Susquenita 4- 12- 0  0.314893  0.203390  0.451176  3.6  138.2  14.1  168.1
12 Lancaster Mennonite 2- 16- 0  0.274762  0.088757  0.502101  1.5  167.3  15.4  165.9
13 Hanover 0- 17- 0  0.245329  0.000000  0.545176  0.0  178.0  17.0  148.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Lancaster Catholic 12 5 70.59 13 6 68.42 116 52
Annville-Cleona 10 6 62.50 11 6 64.71 126 46
Pequea Valley 7 8 46.67 8 8 50.00 100 74
Columbia 5 11 31.25 6 12 33.33 81 93
Lancaster Mennonite 2 13 13.33 2 16 11.11 74 102
Lebanon Catholic 0 17 0.00 0 17 0.00 5 149
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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