Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Academy Park at ease with squeeze


May 8, 1995 | Delaware County Daily Times (Primos - Upper Darby, PA
Section: News
1235 Words
There is squeezing out a victory and then there is what Academy Park did to Harriton Friday afternoon.

The Knights squeezed out a 6-5 victory over the Rams.


The Knights squeezed not one, not two, but three runs home for their first on-field win of the season. AP received a forfeit victory from Sun Valley when it was discovered that the Vanguards had used an ineligible player, but had not won a game on the field until Friday.

""If you can pull the squeeze bunt off, it's a good way to score a run,'' interim coach Sal Oropollo said. ""(Co-coach) Doug Ambler always kids me that we were more daring when we were coaching the JV team and we were. We did a lot of things like squeeze and steal because we were preparing the kids for the varsity. When I took over for Tony (Gagliardi as the interim coach) I thought I had to be a little more conservative. This was the first chance we had to pull it off.''

Not once, but three times.

Ray Stillwell's squeeze bunt in the third inning chased home A.J. DiGrazio with the Knights first run. Oropollo liked it so much that he ordered winning pitcher Jason Fehrle to bunt on the next at-bat.

""They (the Rams) called time to talk about strategy and that allowed me to tell Jason to bunt without having to give him a sign,'' Oropollo said. ""They (the Rams) had no idea it was coming.''

Fehrle didn't give the Rams time to react. He laid down the first pitch he saw to send Craig Still home with AP's second run. And the Knights weren't finished. In the sixth inning, with Harriton holding a 5-4 lead, Bob Malin squeezed home Stillwell to tie the game and set the stage for sophomore John Scanlan.

Scanlan slugged a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to win it, but he wasn't the only hero. Catcher Mike Porreca threw out two would-be base stealers, and a diving catch by center fielder John Velardi prevented a big inning by the Rams.

""It was nice to win a game in the bottom of the seventh,'' said Oropollo, who has lost three games in either the sixth or seventh inning this season. ""The kids deserved it.''

No comments: