Brentwood runs past Summit Academy in preliminary round

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 8:31 PM


With the one-and-done aspect of the WPIAL playoffs, baseball coaches always say they need to win and advance in the postseason.

On Tuesday, Brentwood decided to steal and survive in a preliminary-round game.

On opening day of the district baseball playoffs, Brentwood ran past Summit Academy, 8-1, to advance to the first round of the Class 2A tournament.

The Spartans’ victory was fueled in large part by 16 stolen bases.

“Once we realized we could be freewheeling on the bases, we took advantage of it,” Brentwood coach Greg Perdziola said. “You don’t want to show anybody up, but I’ve been in a position before that if you don’t do it, it could come back to haunt you.”

Summit Academy catcher Xavier Gorski had little chance against Brentwood base runners that were getting huge jumps off Knights starting pitcher Josh Ortiz.

Brentwood manufactured single runs in each of the first three innings on two sacrifice flies and a ground out.

The Spartans then scored three runs in the fourth inning to go ahead 6-0. One run scored on a Jayneil Latham single, and two more came home on a bases-loaded single by Brandon Greiner.

That cushion allowed Perdziola a chance to roll the dice and lift starting pitcher Zach Keib after 4 1/3 innings of one- hit ball to keep his junior right hander under the 50 pitch limit so he can pitch again Thursday if needed.

“I told my coaches we needed to get more runs here,” Perdziola said. “If there was a chance I could pull Zach early to at least have the option of bringing him back on Thursday, I wanted to do that.”

Keib had no complaints on getting pulled as he knew it was a big-picture decision.

“I understand,” he said. “It was so I could pitch on Thursday against Shenango after we had this game pretty locked up.”

Greiner relieved Keib and allowed a run on two hits in 2 2/3 innings. Summit Academy scored its only run in the sixth on a single by Tylar Woods, a double by Gorski, his second of the game, and an RBI ground out by Salvador Sanchez.

Keib, Greiner and Latham had a combined six hits with seven RBIs and five runs scored to lead the Spartans (8-8), who will face top-seed Shenango in the first round at 4 p.m. Thursday at Chippewa Park.

“They’re very, very good,” Perdziola said of the Wildcats. “They have two Division I players and are a No. 1 seed, but that being said, we had two pretty good teams in our division in Seton LaSalle and Serra who had some really good pitching, so we’re ready to see them.”

A historic season came to an end for Summit Academy (5-9, which clinched a playoff spot for the first time in school history.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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