SHAMOKIN — Usually when a team is facing an elimination game, there’s a different tone in the dugout.
But that wasn’t the case for Shamokin-Mount Carmel (SMC), who won its American Legion baseball playoff game against Danville at Bunker Hill, 10-2.
The 19 and under team played loose in their regular season matchups throughout the summer, but team’s chemistry and swagger were put on full display Friday.
Despite already losing one game in a double elimination playoff, players were busting jokes on the diamond and bumping some unpredictable walk-up songs from a bluetooth speaker in the dugout — like they did all season.
“It’s a tribute to the older guys on the team. Evan Salamone and Blair (Wagner), they’ve been here, and to sprinkle some of the older newer guys like Jack Chapman and (Logan) Wills, they just keep it loose,” head coach Ed Smink said.
“They have fun doing it but they could put the hammer down when they need to like tonight and they did well,” Smink added.
The results speak for itself, and the team lives to see another day.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Despite the relaxed play, the team stayed aggressive at the plate. Shamokin-Mount Carmel tallied 10 runs and 12 hits in the eight-run victory.
“We knew from last time when we played them on July 4 that their first pitch was going to be a breaking pitch, I told them to either sit on that or wait for the fastball,” Smink said. “I think they waited for the fastball and they hit the ball hard.”
Logan Wills got the bats started for SMC in the bottom of the first inning by hitting a two-run RBI single.
Blair Wagner kept piled on the pressure by sending a long ball over the tree-line in left field, giving St. Francis a 4-0 lead.
After Danville cut the deficit in half, Wills and Mark Wetzel extended the lead in the fifth inning. Some insurance runs were tacked on in the sixth inning by Wagner, Salamone and Anthony Stutzcavage, ultimately making things 10-2.
Stutzcavage pitched all seven innings for SMC and earned the win while allowing just three hits, two walks and two earned runs. Stutzcavage also struck out six batters in the contest.
Shamokin-Mount Carmel will take on Selinsgrove today at Bunker Hill. The time of the game is still to be determined.