Demons Down Avon Lake; Advance to SWC Championship Game
“We had ‘em all the way” is how legendary Pirate broadcaster Bob Prince would have recapped this see-saw thriller on Hilliard Blvd. The Demons secured the 4-3 win in come-from-behind walk-off fashion. The victory means the seconded seeded Horns will play for the conference tournament championship at #1 seed Amherst tomorrow at 5 PM.
Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, Jack Kerr lined a sharp single to left that barely avoided the outstretched glove of the left fielder diving toward the line. Kerr stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Collin Burrows roped a single over the third sackers head about ten feet inside the foul line to bring home Kerr with the tying run. Burrows stole second and was balked to third. Michael Stenger got a three-ball, no-strike pitch to his liking and ripped it into center to score Burrows and send the Westlake masses into jubilation.
The Westlakers have now won five consecutive games for their longest win streak of the campaign. They’ve outscored their foes 55 to 10 during the streak. On the year the ledger reads 15 wins and 4 losses, including a three game season sweep of Avon Lake.
Pitching paced the home team as Alex Needham was magnificent in a starting role once again. Needham completed five innings and faced two hitters in the sixth. He allowed one earned run on only two hits, one walk and one HBP. He continually picked up his defense by pitching around four errors and keeping the Shoremen lineup off balance and in check throughout the contest.
After Needham hit and walked the first two Avon Lake hitters in the sixth, Kerr was summoned to put out the fire. The first hitter he faced looped a pop up into very shallow CF that found green grass. However, the runner at 2b had to hold and was forced out at 3b on a throw from Zach Regas to Sean Finucane. The next hitter grounded toward the hole at short and Burrows forced the runner at 2b on a throw to Alex Babinski. The runner from third scored, after advancing on a wild pitch, the third Shoremen run, making it a 3-2 Avon Lake lead. The final out in the sixth was recorded on a slow roller to the first base side of the mound. In the seventh, Jack retired the side in order including a great play where he beat the hitter to the 1b bag on ground ball to Babinski in the hole between first and second.
While the entire Shoremen lineup was held to two hits, five Demon players all matched their opponents output. Kerr had two singles and scored a run. Burrows had two safeties, an RBI and run scored. Stenger had two hits, including a double, an RBI and a run. Jack Finucane had two hits, an RBI and a run. And Sean Finucane had two hits and an RBI.
The Demons will host the championship game at 7 pm. At 4:30 pm Amherst will take on Berea Midpark in the other semi final at Westlake’s field. We hope to see you out at the park!