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Girardville rally keeps A’s winless

MARY D - Just when it looked like Valley Athletic was about to clinch its first victory of the season Sunday afternoon, things fell apart like dried up tumbleweed.

Clutching to a four-run lead heading into the top of the sixth inning, the A’s ran afoul in just about every aspect of the game.

Visiting Girardville sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning and rallied for seven runs to usurp an 11-8 Schuylkill Teener League Senior Division victory.

“It is very disappointing,” Valley Athletic manager Sean McLaughlin said after watching his team fall to 0-7 on the season. “We breakdown at some point in every game. Whether it’s our inability to make a key play, or throw the ball away … our fundamentals are hurting us.”

Walking 12 batters didn’t help matters either, and it just wasn’t one particular pitcher. But much to the credit of visiting Gun Town (4-2), the huge rally came at the most opportune time.

Girardville, which is the head of the class in the division, got key hits in the seven-run rally from Teagan Brokenshire, Zane Zulkowski, and slick fielding shortstop Mike Zahodnick.

“We have guys that can hit the ball. We’re not just going up to the plate looking for walks,” said Gun Town manager Harvey Wiekel. “But, today we were much more patient than in some of the previous games.”

Girardville flailed away for 12 hits in the win. Evan Stanikis, Dylan O’Neill, Mike Groody and Zulkowski each had two hits.

The A’s surged early, first in the home-half of the opening inning, jumping to a 1-0 lead using a walk to Lucas Milot, followed by a Chase Andrews single that set the table for Ryan Vecolitis’ run-scoring single.

Valley Athletic mustered a two-run second inning rally. It all started with a walk to Timmy Fritzinger. Mike Styka then poked an opposite field single to right for the first of his three hits. Gabe Coleman, who had an outstanding day at the plate, delivered the first of his three singles, and when Girardville committed an error, Fritzinger scrambled home before Tommy Case delivered a single for an RBI.

The heat kept coming in the A’s attack, as they scored four times in the third. Nate Fannock smoked a double, Fritzinger singled and Styka hit a sacricifce fly. Coleman singled for his second hit juicing the sacks. Case added his second RBI with a walk and Milot singled home the fourth run in the rally.

The 7-3 lead looked solid until Girardville got to the top of the sixth and patiently worked its way into a big rally.

The last bit of noise for Valley Athletic came in its final at bat when Case uncorked a double to left and rode home with a two-out single by Andrews.

Girardville 102 007 1 - 11 12 1

Valley Athletic 124 000 1 - 8 11 6

M. Groody, O’Neill (3) and C. Whalen; Fritzinger, Andrews (5), Styka (6) and Fannock. W - O’Neill L - Andrews