Patience pays off for Deer Lakes baseball against Valley

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 8:23 PM

Deer Lakes scored eight runs in the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday’s Section 1-3A baseball game at Valley and turned a close game into a rout.

The Lancers had 10 hits overall, took advantage of nine walks and rode the arm of senior Greg Geis to a 12-2 victory.

“We just needed that one big hit to get rolling,” Deer Lakes coach Josh Tysk said. “A couple of guys found some holes in the defense, and we had some well-hit balls, too. We worked some long at-bats and drew some walks. That put some pressure on their defense.”

The Lancers are 5-3 in the Pennsylvania portion of their schedule and 7-5 overall. They remained unbeaten in section play at 5-0.

“Being 5-0 in the section, we’re in good shape. We like where we stand,” Tysk said. “We had the lead the whole game (Tuesday), but we didn’t get complacent. We really found an extra gear in the sixth and added on.”

Deer Lakes hosts section rival Freeport at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Yellowjackets defeated East Allegheny, 10-1, on Tuesday to move to 3-1 in the section and 6-4 overall.

Valley fell to 2-7 overall and 2-3 in section play.

“We’re young, and I think we need to get tougher mentally,” Vikings coach Jim Basilone said. “We just have to focus better on getting things done in crucial situations. The future looks bright, but right now, we’re going to take our lumps in some games.”

The Lancers collected five hits and drew four walks in the sixth inning. Josh Probst hit a two-run homer, Cory Newman knocked in two runs with a single and Justin Brannagan, Drew Pavlik and Jake Yaconis added an RBI apiece.

Newman paced the offense with four hits, four RBIs and two runs. He added a two-run single with two outs in the fourth to give Deer Lakes a 3-0 lead.

“Cory had a good game all-around today,” Tysk said of his senior shortstop. “He hit the ball extremely well and also fielded his position really well. His defense is something that has been shining all year.”

Geis didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fourth and surrendered three hits and one earned run over six innings. He walked none, struck out two and threw just 74 pitches.

He retired the side in order in the second and third innings, and he also recorded a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth to close the game.

“I have the confidence in my defense that if I make (the hitters) put it on the ground or in the air, they will make the play for me,” said Geis, who improved to 4-0.

Valley got on the board in the fourth as Ben Aftanas broke up Geis’ no-hit bid with a single and later scored on a fielding error.

Evan Henry led off the fifth for the Vikings with a single, and he scored on a groundout to short by Isaac Kelly.

“Greg threw good pitches and let his defense make plays behind him,” Tysk said. “He also fielded his spot really well four or five times. He was able to keep his pitch count down.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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