ShareThis Page
Synergy ends slump, reaches DNL playoffs |
Other Local

Synergy ends slump, reaches DNL playoffs

Ed Phillipps
| Saturday, July 26, 2014 12:21 a.m

There’s nothing like a little bit of last-minute pressure for the Synergy Group baseball team.

With its 3-0 win over Sakas Landscaping on Friday night at Helen Ritchey Field in McKeesport, Synergy earned a Daily News League playoff berth as the fifth and final seed. It has become a tradition for Synergy to rally for a playoff spot late in the season.

“We made the playoffs three years in a row and all three came down to the last game,” Synergy manager John Rende said.

Synergy (11-9) will take on No. 4 South Hills at 6:15 p.m. Monday at Mellon Middle School. South Park, Quinn Construction and Clancy’s Pub also made the playoffs.

After losing seven of its previous eight games, Synergy won the game it needed to and earned a spot in the playoffs, while Sakas was knocked out of contention.

“We didn’t want to make it easy on ourselves,” Rende said.

On Friday, Synergy jumped to an early lead and then Zack Eddinger’s complete-game gem closed the show.

The right-handed Eddinger struck out seven in seven innings and allowed just three hits. He struck out the side to end the game.

Eddinger got all three runs of support in the top of the first inning. After leadoff man Matt Corner walked, Johnny Rende, John’s son, reached base on an error by Sakas shortstop Anthony Colondrea, who had three errors in the game. Corner was then singled home by Matt Bradburn, who advanced to second base on the throw home. A pickoff attempt to second by Sakas pitcher Cody McClelland sailed into center field, allowing Rende to score from third. Matt Pitschman’s single scored Bradburn.

That was all the support Eddinger (6-1) needed. His fastball hit its spots — mostly around the knees — and his curveball and changeup kept Sakas’ batters off-balance.

“We usually win games with defense and pitching,” Rende said. “That was what we had today. We made a lot of good plays in the field, and Eddinger was lights out.”

Only one Sakas runner advanced past first base. Antonio Palangio, who singled twice for Sakas, was stranded on third to end the sixth inning.

“We just didn’t hit the ball well today,” Sakas player-coach Ryan Alm said. “It seems like we made contact.It just didn’t fall for us.”

Despite the loss, the right-handed McClelland (2-3) pitched well for Sakas (9-12). In his fourth complete game of the season, he struck out five and allowed no runs over the final six innings.

The last time he faced Synergy on July 2, he threw all seven innings and struck out eight to get the win.

“He calmed down after that first inning,” Alm said. “He usually takes an inning or two to warm up, but after that he usually starts throwing harder, gets in a groove and that’s what he did tonight.”

Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.

Categories: Other Local
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.