WPIAL Baseball Recaps From Thursday, May 19th
Thursday, May 19, 2016 | 9:32 PM
Some soggy fields on a chilly, dreary Wednesday gave way to a sunny Thursday as the WPIAL pushed back eleven games to make for a busy day with all sixteen Second Round contests taking place around Southwestern Pennsylvania. When all was said and done, the Final Four field was set for the final four classification district postseason with the expansion to six classes taking place next spring. Here are all the recap from Quarterfinals Thursday.
A special thanks to Don Rebel, Kyle Dawson, Bob Orkwis, Sean Meyers, Brandon Showers, James Dotson, Josh Rowntree, Bob Gregg, Jake Holmes, Brian Mroziak, Greg Kuntz, Mark Schaas and Chris Lackner for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:
Plum Mustangs 2 – Peters Township Indians 0
Alex Kirilloff nearly single-handedly edged Peters Township, 2-0, Thursday night. In addition to holding the Indians to just one hit and no runs over six innings, the left-handed hitting senior tripled off the right-field fence and scored on Taylor Vivivo’s single in the first, then doubled down left-field line, driving in Thomas Zummo to make it 2-0 after two. Fortunately for the Mustangs, that was enough. TJ Dailey held Plum (21-0) to just two hits and one batter over the minimum the rest of the way. Unfortunately for Peters Township (13-7), Kirilloff stayed away from any hits with men on base, and the Indians had runners aboard in every inning but one. The winner walked five and the Mustang defense also committed two errors. One of those put runners at second and third with one out in the fourth. The southpaw got a strikeout and a grounder to first to end the threat. From that point, Peters Township didn’t get another run beyond first base. Kirilloff struck out 11 batters, including the last three he faced in the sixth. Ethan Wiseburgh worked the seventh inning to earn save the win. Dailey took the loss despite holding Plum to just two run on six hits, no walks, striking out a pair. The teams combined for three hits, all singles, over the final 4.5 innings.
Hempfield Spartans 2 – Franklin Regional Panthers 1
Franklin Regional looked to continue on the upset trail after beating #5 Bethel Park in the first round when it matched up Thursday against the 4-seeded Spartans of Hempfield. After a scoreless first, Franklin Regional got on the board in the second after a two-base throwing error made by Hempfield starting pitcher Charlie Varriano on a ball back up the box, and a few walks thereafter to make it 1-0 Panthers after two. The Spartans waited to respond until the sixth when a couple hits by Mitch Golden and Bronson Auckerman started things off in the sixth. Relief pitcher, who won it in relief eventually, Zayne Zalich sacrificed the two to scoring position before an attempted suicide squeeze failed by 9-hitter Dylan Sikora. On the next pitch, the hero for the Spartans tripled both home on a bullet to left centerfield to put Hempfield up 2-1. All of the sudden, the narrative changed as the Panthers were held hitless through six innings before, with one out and a man on via error, Will Constantin singled to right on a pitch off the end of his bat to force Hempfield’s Zayne Zalich to bear down, which he did recording two fly outs to end the quarterfinal matchup. With the loss, the #12 seed is out and falls to 14-8 on the year to end the season while the Spartans move to 16-6 overall and head to the Quad A semifinals to play the winner of Plum and Peters Township early next week.
Canon-McMillan Big Macs 5 – Pine-Richland Rams 1
Canon-McMillan score in each of the first three innings and went on to beat Pine-Richland, 5-1, Thursday afternoon. Ian Hess went 3-for-4, including a solo home run, and scored twice to lead the offense. The Big Macs’ bats also delivered four sacrifice fly outs in the win. Winning pitcher Zach Rohaley kept the Rams off-stride, scattering six hits–all singles, in the complete game victory. Hess’ homerun opened the scoring, just clearing the left-field fence with two out in the bottom of the first. Canon-McMillan (14-7) added two unearned runs in the second, using a leadoff walk and two P-R errors. The Rams got their only run in the bottom of the inning. Maxx Harpalani walked, move to second on Nick Haas’ base-hit and score on a single by Jacob Maggi. Second-seeded Pine-Richland (17-5) didn’t get another runner past second base. CM restored the three-run margin in the top of the third. Hess singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on Tanner Piechnick’s single and scored on Jordan Catelli’s sac fly to left. The Big Macs closed the scoring in the sixth. Rohaley doubled, was bunted to third and scored on a Dylan Cole sacrifice fly out to right. Piechnick and Castelli each had two hits for Canon-McMillan. Tom Zbezinski took the loss for Pine-Richland, snapping the Rams’ seven-game win streak. Zbezinski was charged with five runs, three earned on nine hits, two walks while striking out two in seven innings. Five of the six hits came in the bottom third of the order, two each by Maggi and Ty Yoklic. Rohaley did not have a one-two-three inning, but stayed away from the big hit with runners on base. The right-hander allowed the one run on six hits, walked four and struck out six.
Norwin Knights 7 – Latrobe Wildcats 1
Pitching against Greater Latrobe for the third time this season, Norwin’s Chad Coles stifled the Wildcats’ bats, guiding the Knights to a 7-1 win in the Quad-A Quarterfinals at Hempfield Area High School. The foes from Section 2 were both held scoreless in the first inning, but No. 14 Norwin gained the upper hand in the top of the second. Three straight Knights reached base to open the frame, as Greater Latrobe’s Zach Kokoska struggled with his command. Norwin’s Jon LoChiatto plated the first run on a fielder’s choice, and Kokoska walked in the second run with the bases loaded, his fourth free pass of the inning. In the following inning, Norwin exploded with a four-run outburst, as the Knights’ first three hitters reached against reliever Tyler Kuhns. Although Kuhns collected consecutive strikeouts, he could not escape the jam, as LoChiatto delivered a two-run single to left field. Daniel Kiester followed up with a single that scored two more for Norwin, which pulled ahead 6-0. Staked to the sizable lead, Coles never looked back, as the limited the sixth-seeded Wildcats to just four hits. The squads exchanged a run in the fifth inning, but Greater Latrobe never seriously threatened to stage a comeback. Coles retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory. In addition to LoChiatto’s impressive effort, Kiester reached base four times and drive in three runs, while Nick Amendola and Jonathan Pingree each added a pair of hits. For Greater Latrobe, Ryan Augustine turned in a multi-hit effort, while Ryan Shawley pitched four effective innings of relief after the first two Wildcats struggled on the mound. By notching two straight upsets, including a shocker against third-seeded Shaler in the first round, the Knights now advance to the semifinals, where they will face Canon-McMillan.
WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:
Chartiers Valley Colts 2 – Laurel Highlands Mustangs 1
Caysen O’Keefe broke up a scoreless tie in the top of the 5th inning driving in Connor Corchado and Chartiers Valley picked up a 2nd run when Steve Alauzen scored on a wide throw as the Colts snapped an 18 game Laurel Highlands winning streak downing the Mustangs 2 to 1 on Thursday Night in a AAA Quarterfinal Round Game at the Boyce Mayview Complex in Upper St. Clair. Ross Wilkerson pitched a complete game picking up the win for the Colts improving to 4-3 on the season. Zach Uhazie also pitched a complete game for Laurel Highlands and picked up his 1st loss of the season dropping to 8-1. Troy Kifer drove in Lucas Boyle for Laurel Highlands lone run of the game in the bottom of the 6th inning. Laurel Highlands had an opportunity to strike first in the bottom of the 3rd inning but left the bases loaded when Hudson Novak popped out to Caysen O’Keefe to end the inning. Chartiers Valley improves to 14-7 overall and makes their 2nd straight trip to the WPIAL Semi-Finals and will take on Mars. Laurel Highlands suffered only their 2nd loss of the season and their 1st since March 26th. The Mustangs season ends with a 19-2 record.
Mars Fighting Planets 3 – Hopewell Vikings 0
The Planets took advantage of some miscues and used a timely hit to post all the runs they would need to advance to the semifinals. Mars scored 3 runs in the 5th inning as Eli Brooks and Isiah Johnson singled to start the inning. Errors by Griffin Curry and Chris Skelton gave Mars a 2-0 advantage, Jack Anderson’s double brought home a 3rd run as the Section 5 champs were in business. That would be the cushion Mars starter Dylan Rotz asked for, he went the distance allowing just 2 hits and fanned 7. Rotz stranded 2 runners at third in the 2nd and 3rd innings, he did not allow a hit and had only 2 baserunners over the last 4 innings. He set the Vikings in order in 3 of his 7 innings. Dave Anderson, Anthony Michalski and Brooks each had 2 hits. The Planets only had 8 hits but it was more than they would need. Mars is now 14-5 and has won 3 straight games. Skelton had the only extra base hit for Hopewell with a double in that 3rd inning but could not score. Joey Rock pitched into the 6th inning, he was tagged with the loss. The Vikings finish at 15-7.
Knoch Knights 7 – Montour Spartans 2
A year after making a magical run to their first WPIAL and PIAA championships, it appears that No. 10 Knoch (14-6) may be ready to defend their titles. Jeremy Frazier took a no-hitter 6 2/3 innings, lifting the Knights to a 7-2 win over No. 2 Montour (14-4) on Thursday afternoon at Fox Chapel High School. With the win, Knoch advances to the WPIAL AAA Semifinals, where they will meet No. 3 Blackhawk next week. Frazier, who was starting due to a shoulder injury to Ohio University recruit Cole Shinsky, retired the first eleven batters he faced. After an error spoiled his perfect game aspirations, Frazier sat down the next 9 Spartans before LSU recruit Trent Vietmeier singled with two outs in the 7th. Knock built their lead early in the 2nd inning after Addis Crouch doubled and scored on a single by Jake Herrit. The Knights would surge to a 2-0 lead after Kent State recruit Dominick Bucko singled and then scored on a base hit by P.J. Gourley. That score would hold until the 7th, when a pair of walks and an error would load the bases for Knoch’s Alex Stobert. Stobert, a Tallahassee Community College recruit, would single to give the Knights a 4-0 edge. An infield single by Crouch, fielder’s choice by Herrit and sacrifice fly by Dylan Swarmer would all result in runs and advance the lead to 7-0. Once the no-hitter bid was ended in the ensuing half inning, Zach McGowan would double to cut into Knoch’s lead, cutting the edge to 7-2. But Frazier would close the door on his three-hit, four-strikeout performance. Frazier did not walk a batter in the contest. Brian Dabny picked up the loss for Montour, allowing two runs on nine hits in five innings of work.
Blackhawk Cougars 7 – West Allegheny Indians 0
The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead and exploded for a 5 run 2nd as they advanced to a semifinal date with the defending champion Knoch Knights next week. West Allegheny had a chance to tie the game in the top half of the inning. Devin Donaldson led off the inning with a single. Jake Cunningham bunted the runner to second, the throw by pitcher Andy McClymonds got down the first base line, allowing Donaldson to go to third. The return throw sailed over third but Adam Robinson got a good bounce off the fence and nailed Donaldson at the plate. Robinson started an inning ending double play when he snared a line drive and doubled Nick Ross off of first base. Blackhawk had 5 straight batters reach base, the big hit was a run scoring double by Jimmy Nixon. The Cougars chased Indians starter Steve Twardy after 1.1 innings, he took the loss. Robinson had 2 hits, scored twice and drove in a run. Robbie Swinderman also had 2 hits. Michael Turconi and Mark Engel each drove in a run. McClymonds allowed only 1 hit after the first 2 innings. The sophomore only fanned 2 but set down the last 8 batters of the game. Blackhawk goes to 17-4 overall, the Cougars have won 6 straight. The Indians had appeared in the title game the last 2 seasons, winning the 2014 title. West Allegheny’s final record is 14-6.
WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:
Neshannock Lancers 11 – Shady Side Academy Indians 0
After needing a walk-off wild pitch to squeak by 16-seed Charleroi in the first round, the defending WPIAL and PIAA Champion Neshannock wanted to come out with a vengeance in the quarterfinals. The Lancers put a ten spot on the board in the bottom of the second inning and cruised to an 11-0 mercy rule victory over Shady Side Academy. Coach Mike Kirkwood’s squad sent 16 batters to the plate, including 11 straight batters reaching base to begin the frame. Dante DeLillo led off the frame with a double, the first of nine hits in the inning for Neshannock. Danny Welker, Rich Serignese, and Mike Nuzzo all had RBI singles in the frame, while Brandon Scheidemantle and DeLillo each tallied 2-RBI singles. Jason Swope and Frank Fraschetti drew bases loaded walks as well. 16 hits offensively was more than enough comfort for Serignese, who threw a complete game (five innings) shutout for the Lancers. The best chance for Shady Side came in the top of the first inning, but two hits and a walk went unrewarded as Serignese forced a groundout to leave the bases loaded. The Indians also left the bases loaded in the third inning. Serignese gave up seven hits, struck out four, and walked three in getting the victory. He also excelled at the plate, going 3 for 3 and reaching base all four times he came to the plate. DeLillo went 3 for 3 and was a home run shy of the cycle. Tyler Gorse took the loss in 1+ innings of work, getting tagged for 7 earned runs on 7 hits. Sophomore Luke Keenan led the way offensively for the Indians, going 2 for 3 with a double. The young Shady Side Academy squad finishes the year with an 11-9 record, and will bring back a young nucleus of players next season. The Lancers improve to 18-2 in advancing to the WPIAL Semifinals, where they will face a familiar foe in section opponent and local rival Shenango. The 1-seed Lancers and 13-seed Wildcats will do battle next week at a site and time to be determined with a trip to the WPIAL Championships on the line.
Shenango Wildcats 4 – Seton-LaSalle Rebels 2
Both the Shenango Wildcats and the Seton-LaSalle Rebels earned Quarterfinal spots in the AA Baseball bracket with major upsets. The 13th-seeded Wildcats upended the #4 Avonworth Antelopes, 5-0, and the #12 Rebels knocked off #5 Brownsville, 13-6. Thursday, the two underdogs clashed at the Boyce-Mayview Sports Complex. Anthony Ryan led off the game for the Cats with a double. Three batters later, a Vince Turco fly ball hit off the top of the Rebels’ Nick Vari’s glove. The 2-base error allowed Ryan to score and give Shenango a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of third, Jared Coppozza led off for SL with a single. A one-out walk to Nico Popa followed. Coppozza scored on an RBI-single by Liam Sweeney to knot the game at 1. Ron Esposito led off the top of the 4th with a walk. With one out, Gage Hoover and Hunter Waskin both singled. Waskin’s hit plated Esposito to give the Cats a 2-1 lead, one they would not relinquish. Shenango added to the lead with a run each in the 5th and 6th innings. Turco drove in Ryan Perretti for a 3-1 lead in the 5th, and after reaching on an error. In the 6th, Kyle Campbell scored on Ryan’s second hit of the game. SL cut the lead to 2 as David Menosky singled with one out. Jim Wheeler and Dom Matts had 2-out base hits to drive in Menosky. The tying run for the Rebels was in play in both the bottom of the 6th and 7th innings, and they managed to get the potential winning run aboard as they loaded the bases in the 7th, but SL stranded 5 runners in those final 2 innings, 10 for the game. The Shenango Wildcats move on to the WPIAL Class AA Semifinals with a 4-2 victory over the Seton-LaSalle Rebels. The Cats have an even tougher row to hoe, however, as they face a very familiar foe, the top-seeded Neshannock Lancers, who crushed the Shady Side Academy Indians in the Quarters. The Rebels’ season is over at 10-6 record. Shenango moves on with a 10-10 mark.
Riverside Panthers 10 – Steel Valley Ironmen 0
Junior Adam Jeanette and his Riverside teammates were nearly perfect Thursday. Now they are Final Four bound after eliminating Steel Valley 10-0 at the Boyce-Mayview Complex in Upper St. Clair in a game that lasted only five innings because of the 10-run rule. It is the second straight 10-0 five inning victory for the Panthers, who rolled past New Brighton in the First Round. This one was over early. After Jeanette set the Ironmen down with a pair of strikeouts in a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Riverside batted around and scored four unearned run in the bottom of the first. Kolby Wolf’s RBI groundout scored Dylan Speicher, then Jason Dambach, who reached on a hustling double, scored on Steel Valley’s second error of the inning. Cristian Cicchinelli and Braden Bentel followed up with run scoring singles and the route was on. Jason Dambach hit into a fielder choice to score Speicher in the second before Riverside batted around again in the third. Will Yasenka and Boswell added RBI’s while another SV error and a wild pitch put the Panthers up 9-0. Cicchinelli scored on another wild pitch in the fourth for the Panthers final run. Meanwhile, Jeanette was dominant on the mound for Riverside. In fivien innings of work, he allowed only one base runner, a lead off walk to Tanner Cannon in the 4th inning. Jeanette struck out seven en route to a postseason no-hitter. Sophomore Mike Sullivan was the losing pitcher for Steel Valley, who ends their season at 11-6. Sullivan allowed only two earned of the nine runs scored against him, but did give up nine hits with two walks and one strikeout. The only senior on the Ironmen team, Brett Yuhas allowed a run in his only inning of work. Riverside improves to 18-2 as head coach Dan Oliastro, now in his 48th season at Riverside, picked up victory number 598 in his storied career. The Panthers now face Keystone Oaks in the Semifinals on Monday.
Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 6 – Beaver Falls Tigers 2
The Tigers jumped on the board first but it was all KO when it counted as the Golden Eagles are semi-final bound. Trailing 2-1 in the 5th inning, Keystone Oaks sent 11 men to the plate, racking up 5 runs, making a winner out of Jerry Volpe. Tim Ali delivered a 2 run double with the bases loaded. Ryan Roell added a run scoring single and Dylan Procopio a bases loaded walk for a 5-2 lead. Christian Kern came on to relieve starter Matt Veon, he got Brooks to strike out but Josh Beck also drew a free pass to force in the 6th run. Volpe was the winning pitcher, scattering 8 hits and pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th. Nick Riggle was 4 for 4, Stephen Kazalas-Kelly and Roell each had 2 hits, part of KO’s 12 hit attack. The Golden Eagles are 13-5 overall and will meet Riverside in the semifinals. Cade Koch had a run scoring double and Spencer Kohlman added 2 hits. Veon took the loss. The Tigers made the playoffs sincing winning the 2010 AA title, they finish the season at 7-10.
WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 5 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders 4
Seven innings was not nearly enough to settle the quarterfinal matchup between Greensburg Central Catholic and Bishop Canevin on Thursday. During the bottom of the tenth inning GCC prevailed and avoided upset by way of a 5-4 triumph. The Centurions got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first with a leadoff triple by Neal McDermott who was knocked in by Tommy Pellis two batters later to make the score 1-0. That score held until Justin Dix crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Eisenbeis which tied the game temporarily. The bottom of the 5th came which was lead off by a Jake Nesser single, he later scored on an RBI double from Steven Forrai. Forrai was also able to score in the inning when McDermott crushed a long sacrifice fly to left making the score 3-1 after five.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Bishop Canevin put together two consecutive singles and a walk to load the bases and one batter later, McDermott walked in a run cutting the Centurions lead to one. The next batter Tyler Lampus crushed a two out, two RBI double to give the Crusaders the lead. In the bottom half, GCC loaded the bases and eventually were given a run due to defensive miscues of Bishop Canevin. Justin Dix walked in a run which left the score tied at four going into extras. Neither team could get the offense going during the extra three frames, that is until the bottom of the 10th when Jack Liberatore lead off the inning with a single and the Centurions didn’t look back. Three consecutive baserunners for GCC which set the table for Forrai who chopped a ground ball to short and the throw to home was not in time. McDermott came in in relief during the 7th inning and cemented the win going 3.2 innings pitched with five strikeouts, one walk, one hit and one earned run. Justin Dix suffered the loss for the Crusaders. The Centurions finished the afternoon with a staggering 14 hits to seven for Bishop Canevin. GCC looks to advance to the WPIAL Class A Championship again as the will take on the Union Scotties in the semifinals.
Union Scotties 6 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 4
The #4/ vs #5 in the WPIAL Class A Baseball bracket between the Union Scotties and the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers can be summed up by two major keys: walks and a big 6th inning for each team. Union got the scoring started in the bottom half of the 1st inning as Cole Gorgacz scored on a Tim Sumner fielders choice. Gorgacz would come around to score again in the 3rd when the pitcher Logan Schuller skied a ball into mid centerfield allowing Gorgacz to trot home easily on the sacrifice fly. OLSH’s first chance at some runs would come in the 5th. 4 consecutive walks by the Scotties would allow the Chargers to load the bases. Schuller was then able to tightrope out of danger when he got a ball to bounce right back to him and set up the easy 1-2-3 double play to end the top of the 5th. Flood gates opened for both teams in the 6th inning. The Chargers batted around in the 6th, scoring 3 runs on 4 hits. Union then stormed back with 4 runs on 5 hits of their own. Dom Costello shut the door for the Scotties in the 7th to lock down the 6-4 Union victory at Seneca Valley High School. Both #3 hitters in the lineup in this game (Joe Gunn for Union/Kiefer Bishop for OLSH) were shown the ultimate signs of respect by the opposing pitchers as they walked 3 times a piece in the game. The OLSH Chargers strong season comes to an end. The Union Scotties now face Greensburg Central Catholic in the Class A semifinals.
Serra Catholic Eagles 8 – Sewickley Academy Panthers 2
The 2nd seeded Serra Catholic Eagles used early pressure and speed to defeat the the Sewickley Academy Panthers in quarterfinal action today. The scoring started when Zach Bowen hit a 2 RBI double in the 1st scoring starting pitcher Nate Potinka, who doubled earlier, and Ryan Anselmino. Zach Bowen later came around to score in that inning giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead. The Eagles extended that lead in the 2nd when Ben Visnesky singled in Ben Davis who later scored that same inning extending the lead to 5-0. The Eagles would score at least one run every inning but their at bat in the 6th. The Panthers on the other hand had trouble getting to Nate Potinka who gave up only 2 runs on 8 hits which were scattered through the game. The two runs came in the 4th when Potinka gave up three singles in a row loading the bases for Adam Snyder to single in Steven Klemash and Derek Littlefield drove in the final run for the Panthers on a sacrifice fly to left. Potinka who worked fast all game settled back in and was able to get the last out of the inning not allowing another run the rest of the game. Potinka picked up the win in the 8-2 victory while Drew Zbihley took the loss. Serra will go on to face Vincentian Academy in the semi-finals next week at a site and time to be determined after the Royals defeated Brentwood.
Vincentian Academy Royals 6 – Brentwood Spartans 0
The sixth seeded Royals used a pair of thee run inning and a strong pitching performance from sophomore Aidan Thompson to defeat the Spartans 6-0 at Matulevic Field in Shaler and to earn a spot in the WPIAL Class A Semi-finals for the first time since 2010. Designated hitter Anthony Milicia and leftfielder Jim Seskey each had run scoring singles and Thompson drew a bases loaded walk to force home a run as Vincentian broke a scoreless tie with a 3-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning. Three was once again the lucky number for the Royals in the bottom of the sixth inning and once again Thompson was able to help his own cause. A pair of Brentwood errors put runners at first and third and catcher Mark Yakim was able to score Milicia from third on a fielder’s choice groundball to second baseman Michael Lane whose throw home was a bit late allowing the Royals to take a 4-0 lead. Yakim was able to take second base on the play with Seskey moving to third. Thompson then lined a 2 run single of Brentwood starter Tanner Klein to score both runners and give Vincentian the 6-0 lead. Thompson then retired the Spartans 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning to pick up the complete game victory. The Royals, who had only three hits in a 2-1 opening round win over Bentworth, finished the game with six hits, but Vincentian took advantage of three Spartans errors and 4 walks issued by Klein. The Royals also stole three bases in the victory. Thompson finished the game allowing just three hits, he did walk five Brentwood batters but struck out three to pick up the shutout. Klein allowed three earned runs and struck out two Royals to pick up his first loss of the year, finishing the season with a (5-1) record. The 14th seeded Spartans end 2016 with a (10-7) record. The win improved the Royals record to (16-6) and moved then into a match-up with #2 Serra Catholic. Coincidentally, when the Royals last appeared in the semi-final round, they also matched up against the Eagles with Serra Catholic shutting out Vincentian Academy 10-0.
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