Monday, May 13, 2013

Moon coach impressed, lights and the 2008 Canon-Mac baseball season

A couple extras from the Canon-McMillan baseball team's 11-6 win over Moon at Burkett Athletic Complex in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs Monday night.

>>Kevin Forrester won't throw Wednesday against Hempfield, but it's certainly not because of a lack of talent. Just ask Moon coach Dom Santeufemio.

Santeufemio was extremely impressed with Forrester, who went all seven innings, allowing those six runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts -- no runs and one hit in innings five, six and seven.

"Their pitcher, after the fourth inning, he just got better," Santeufemio said. "That was the best curveball we've seen all year. Our right-handed hitters couldn't touch it."

>>Santeufemio, who wasn't complaining but simply making a point, made a good one: Why, when two teams play the bulk of their games in the afternoon, is a playoff game decided under the lights?

Canon-McMillan had the advantage of twice playing night games. Moon played one in Florida to start the season … and it showed. At no more pivotal time than when Canon-McMillan's Teagan Piechnick hit a pop-up between shortstop and third base, and Moon's Josh Bogats was charged with an error after letting the ball drop.

"Our shortstop never saw it. Never picked it up," Santeufemio said.

And the lights?

"We're a good defensive tonight, but tonight, we didn't field the ball. This don't help either," Santeufemio said, looking up at the lights. "You don't play a game under the lights, and then they put you under the lights for the playoffs. To me, I'm going to tell you right now, it made a difference out there, whether you know it or not, it makes a difference.

"Why do we need to play a night game after playing 20 night games?

"It makes a difference, but it's the same for both teams."

>>I stuck around -- as long as I could, given this game started a half-hour late, ran long, and I had to make deadline -- to talk with Canon-Mac coach Frank Zebrasky and assistant Brandon Dittmar for a few minutes.

Apparently they gave the team a little history lesson about 2008, the year Canon-Mac finished third in the section and went on to win a PIAA title. That postseason also started at Burkett, and that team was also not an overwhelming favorite to do what it did -- much like this group will repeat at every turn.

"They're now taking three teams. In 2008, they took three teams," Dittmar explained. "Canon-Mac took third, ended up winning states. We gave them a little history lesson before the playoffs to let them know that it can be done."

>>If they do, and I continue to cover them, I might be bald or have gray hair by the end of the season.

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