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 BY JEFF FALK

 ANNVILLE – Playoff baseball.

 A four hosting a five.

 Extra innings.

 No errors on either side.

 So how close was it? About one full step.

 On a warm Monday evening at Lebanon Valley College’s McGill Field, Jeremy Seyfert’s infield single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted Annville-Cleona to a 1-0 victory over Brandywine Heights, in the opening round of the District Three Class AAA baseball playoffs. Seyfert legged out a deep ground ball to shortstop to score Drew Long from third base.

 It was a dramatic ending to a well-played, tightly-contested pitchers’ duel of a high-school playoff game. For fourth-seeded Annville-Cleona, now 14-6-1 overall, it was its seventh straight appearance in the District Three postseason.

 The Little Dutchmen will take on top-seeded Biglerville in Thursday’s semifinal round of the Class AAA tournament, at a time and site to be determined. A win there would qualify Annville-Cleona for the upcoming PIAA Class AAA playoffs.

 Fifth-seeded Brandywine Heights concluded its campaign at 10-9.

 “It was terrific,” beamed Annville-Cleona head coach Mike Miller. “Both teams played awesome. We had opportunities earlier, but we just didn’t get the key hit. This was playoff baseball.

 “I feel bad for them (the Bullets),” continued Miller. “We’ve lost games like that. I’m just glad we’re on this side of it.”

 Neither team deserved to lose.

  Annville-Cleona’s decisive rally in the bottom of the eighth started innocently enough – with two outs and nobdy on. With Brandywine Heights starter Joseph Fatzinger nearing his pitch limitation, Drew Long started it with a single, then twin brother Adam Long followed with a flair to right field that put D. Long on third.

 Up stepped Seyfert, the clean-up hitter. Seyfert grounded a well-placed ball to deep short, and hustled to beat the throw to first base.

 D. Long scored easily.

 “Both Longs were down in the count,” said Miller. “We practice choking up and putting the ball in play. You have to play Adam deep because he’s been hitting the ball so well, and it dropped in. It’s a big deal to go from first to third. It was a heck of a play for their shortstop to get to it (Seyfert’s ball in the hole).

 “We did miss some opportunities, but so did they,” Miller continued. “There was no margin for error.”

 Little Dutchmen starter Sal Biondollo, then reliever D. Long, matched Fatzinger pitch-for-pitch, and goose egg-for-goose egg.

 Biondollo went seven strong innings and retired the last seven Bullet batters he faced. Over his first five innings of work, Biondollo stranded seven runners on base.

 The hard-chucking senior right-hander finished with nine strikeouts and three walks, and he surrendered four hits. But it was D. Long who was credited with the win.

 “Sal had a rough first inning, 22 pitches,” said Miller. “But he settled down after that. Both pitchers were in the zone. In the playoffs, everybody’s got good pitching.

 “Their pitcher was very good,” added Miller. “We knew he was good. We knew Sal was going to have to pitch a good game. We had two hits going into the eighth, and had three hits in that inning. We had a couple of nice balls that were caught. But you have to stick after it. The kids were into it. The kids’ minds were in it.”

 Twice, the Little Dutchmen got lead-off hitters on against Fatzinger.

 D. Long singled leading off the bottom of the fourth and Tyler Long singled leading off the bottom off the sixth. Both Longs worked their way into scoring position, but neither scored.

 Fatzinger retired the first seven Annville-Cleona hitters he faced – before Gabe Burrus reached on catcher’s interference, with one out in the bottom of the third. Fatzinger fanned nine and walked two.

 “It was a total team effort,” said Miller. “We played good defense. We have a very unselfish team. It’s team first.

 “We wanted to win this game,” Miller added. “Now we have to focus on Biglerville. Obviously you want to be district champions. But we’ve got to get to the district championship game to get to states. We’ve got to play like we did today.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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
1
11
 
5/04
3:00 pm
Wyomissing
at Annville-Cleona
6
6
 
5/07
7:00 pm
Tulpehocken
at Annville-Cleona
1
6
 
5/11
10:00 am
Annville-Cleona
Hempfield
at Ephrata
1
11
 
5/20
4:30 pm
Annville-Cleona
Brandywine Heights
at Lebanon Valley College
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Lancaster Catholic 12 5 70.59 13 9 59.09 132 83
Annville-Cleona 11 6 64.71 14 7 66.67 150 64
Pequea Valley 8 9 47.06 10 10 50.00 124 99
Columbia 6 11 35.29 8 12 40.00 98 96
Lancaster Mennonite 2 15 11.76 2 18 10.00 80 121
Lebanon Catholic 0 17 0.00 0 18 0.00 15 165
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Jeremy Seyfert Walks Off Little Dutchmen

  1. Way to go Jeremy!! Leave it all on the field and don’t come home clean!!! That’s what this Uncle likes to see and I would expect nothing less from you. Get those Dutchmen into the PIAA’s. If you think this was great, just wait for the next two years!! YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET!!!! Right Jeremy??

    WAY TO GO DUTCHMEN!!!

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