CLAYMONT — Salesianum scored seven runs in the final two innings to open up what had been a tight game, and the Sals defeated Archmere, 9-1, on May 20 in the regular-season baseball finale for both teams. Both teams now await their seeding in the DIAA postseason tournament; the bracket is scheduled to be released Sunday.
It didn’t take long for the Sals to get their bats going. With one on and one out, John Dunion began what would be a big day for him with a long home run over the fence in left-center field. Sallies ended up with four hits in the first, but just the two runs.
The Auks answered in their half of the first. Chris Albero led off with a single to right. He moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Nick Zhu groundout.
That was all of the scoring until the sixth. In the four innings in between, starting pitchers Matt Keen of Archmere and Cory Sheridan of Salesianum allowed very little in the way of offense.
Keen retired the Sals in order in the second and third, and he allowed a single base runner in the fourth and fifth. His outfielders were busy. Albero made four catches over those four innings, including taking extra bases away from Dunion in the third when he caught up to a long fly ball halfway up the hill in dead center. Matt Dellose made a sliding catch in left in the fifth.
Sheridan kept the Auks off the board after the first. He allowed a double to Jason Lotkowski to open the second and balked him to third, but Zach Czarnecki threw Lotkowski out at home. Dunion had eight assists at shortstop, along with a putout in the seventh on the front end of a double play. Sheridan allowed just two batters to reach base after Lotkowski’s double — a walk in the fifth and a single in the seventh.
The Sals’ offense returned in the sixth. Dunion drove a ball deep to center for a double. Conor Campbell reached on a bunt single. Dunion came in to score on a throwing error, and a second run scored on a bases-loaded walk to make the score 4-1.
Czarnecki doubled with one out in the seventh, and Dunion reached on an error. Campbell drove in Czarnecki with a squeeze bunt that became a single, and Dunion scored on a single to right by Brandon Baffone. The next batter, Deuce Rzucidlo, emptied the bases with one swing, powering a three-run home run to the opposite field to close out the scoring.
Unofficially, the Sals finished with 11 hits, six of those in the final two innings. Dunion was on three times and scored all three. Sheridan had three strikeouts in the complete-game win. The Sals finished the regular season 14-4 and should get a first-round bye in the 24-team state tournament. They would host a game on May 28 if the schedule holds.
Archmere finished with three hits. The Auks (10-8) will likely be playing in the first round of the tournament on May 26.
All photos by Mike Lang.