Lyman Uses Fundamental Execution to Upend Seminole
With the game tied heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Lyman Greyhounds were in familiar territory. All season long the club had battled each time out, only to see things often slip away in the end. This time the team put all the right pieces into place, scoring two runs to take the lead and then pitching lights out in the bottom half of the inning to score a 4-2 victory over Seminole in a 9A-2 quarterfinal at Sanford Memorial Stadium.
Lyman (3-23) advanced to face top-seeded Spruce Creek in a district semifinal on Wednesday night.
“It has been a tough year,” Lyman manager Tom LoSauro admitted. “We lost a lot of leads late and we played in a lot of close ball games and just weren’t able to get over the hump. Tonight we executed and exercised a lot of demons. I couldn’t be happier for our kids, because they just kept working hard all season hoping that we would end with them starting to come through in some clutch situations. Tonight all through the lineup we really came through. They are thrilled for themselves and I couldn’t be happier.”
After seeing so many chances slip away throughout the year, the Greyhounds refused to slip into that same trap again. They saw their chances and knew the scenario was in their favor, and they capitalized.
“We had the top of the lineup going for us in the top of the seventh, and Robbie Scott got to first and was able to make it to second because of a wild throw,” LoSauro said. “So we started with a runner at second base with nobody out. Evan Siegner came up and was trying to hit behind the runner and move him to third, and he happened to just crush one over the center fielder’s head.”
Siegner’s hit easily plated Scott for an RBI double, and Siegner then stole third base to keep the pressure on. That scenario allowed LoSauro to change the play call for Jake Stitt, who dropped a suicide-squeeze bunt to push Siegner home for a valuable insurance run.
“That gave us our two runs for the inning and we had all of the momentum going into the bottom half of the inning,” LoSauro said. “Our relief pitcher, Rhett Wolnik, has just done an excellent job for us all season. He came in and shut the door on them in the bottom of the seventh.”
Wolnik walked Zach Walkman with one out, but managed a scoreless frame to preserve the win and reward his fellow teammates.
Lyman opened with the lead right out of the gate thanks to a throwing error that plated Siegner and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to Dean Niarchos. But after surrendering the lead, the team stayed resilient and made the fundamental plays it took to finish it off in the end.
“Our guys have been working really hard all season on executing,” LoSauro said. “We just don’t have a lot of guys that are going to bang the ball all over the park or out of the park, so our guys have been working on executing and doing the little things right. Tonight they were able to seize the fruits of their labor.”
Trailing until the fifth, Matt Allen erased that deficit to give the Seminoles (12-11) new hope. Allen drove in Paul Evans and Scott Fickas with a two-RBI double to left field.