One pitch away
Cranberry stuns Mars in Game 1 of Eagle semifi nals
Butler Eagle
Written by:
August 1, 2012
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Cranberry Township catcher Ed Jacquel makes the tag on Mars’ Sam Siberto as he attempts to score Monday at Marburger Field during Cranberry’s 6-4 win over Mars. Game 2 of the best-of-fi ve semifi nal series was scheduled for Tuesday.

MARS — Mars was one pitch away from winning Game 1 of the Eagle County Baseball semifinals — then Cranberry Township struck back.

Cranberry Township knotted the game in the top of the seventh inning when T.J. Zarewicz scored off a wild pitch from Andrew DiNardo, then plated three more runs in the eighth inning en route to a 6-4 victory at Marburger Field.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series was to be played at 6 p.m. Tuesday at North Boundary Park.

“We were just one pitch away,” Mars manager Rob Fester said. “They got it done.”

Cranberry Township also delivered in the eighth inning when Ben Follett opened with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch.

DiNardo then fanned Keith Kubit and Nick DeSanzo, before Ed Jacquel drew a walk to load the bases.

Zarewicz was hit by a pitch to bring in Follett, then Chris Larry laced a two-run single for a 6-3 lead.

“When we get all of our guys together, and for the most part we did today, we are a better team,” Cranberry Township manager Bill Clinefelter noted.

Mars tried to counter with a rally of its own when Phil Shallenberger walked on four pitches off Brian Warheit, before Warheit motioned he was done for the game.

“Brian’s a big-game pitcher. He’s done well and he’s battled,” Clinefelter said. “He tired around the fifth inning, but he kept going.

“I told him it was up to him when he was done. He told me the inning before, actually two innings before, that he would let me know,” Clinefelter added.

In came Zarewicz from right field, who allowed a double to Joel Gatti to put runners in scoring position.

A fielder’s choice scored one run, but Zarewicz struck out Fester and induced Brendan Malone to ground out and end the game.

“You have to tip you hat to Warheit. He’s a good pitcher,” Fester said.

Mars had taken the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Fester delivered a two-out RBI single before Cranberry bounced back.

Cranberry claimed a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Follett drove in Larry with a run-scoring single on a close play at the plate.

Mars took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Paul Westwood and Spitahaler singled and Shallenberger added an RBI single.

Gatti grounded into a double play, which scored the second run.

In the fifth inning, Greg Miller’s two-out double tied the game at 2-2.

“They’ve got a one-game lead,” Fester said. “Absolutely, winning Game 1 helps, but I have confidence in our guys. We’re not going to go away. They know that and we know that.”

Cranberry Twp. 001 010 13 — 6 9 0

Mars 000 201 01 — 4 10 0

W: Brian Warheit 7+ IP (6K, 5BB). L: Andrew DiNardo 7+IP (6K, 4BB).

Cranberry Twp.: T.J. Zarewicz 2-1B, RBI; Chris Larry 2-1B, 2 RBI; Greg Miller 2B, RBI; Ben Follett 2-1B, 2B, RBI; Keith Kubit 1B

Mars: Brendan Malone 1B; Matt Colella 2B; Paul Westwood 2-1B; Bob Spithaler 1B; Phil Shallenberger 1B, RBI; Joel Gatti 1B, 2B; Sam Sibeto 1B, RBI; Rob Fester 1B, RBI