AMHERST — Kyle Dalzell won’t officially be a senior at Amherst High School for another month but he certainly showed he’s ready to take the leadership role for the Comets.
Dalzell threw a sparkling three-hitter and drove in a run with a pair of hits Sunday against Keystone to win the Amherst Summer Classic championship with a 5-2 victory in the tournament final. Earlier, Amherst got past Elyria 4-1 and Keystone edged Medina 4-3 in the semifinals. The Comets batted first in both games because they were seeded fourth after the preliminary rounds.
Amherst lost last year’s final to Medina, 2-1.
“Win ballgames and win championships is all we’re trying to do,” Dalzell said. “We tried to get ahead in the games and put pressure on offense and defense. My curveball wasn’t working. I was just trying to locate my fastball on the outside corner. They couldn’t hit it at all.”
“When it came down to it, we were led by our three seniors,” Amherst coach Matt Rositano said. “Kyle Dalzell had a great game on the mound and had a couple big hits. (Jacob) Lezon and (Connor) Emch have been hot all week. It’s great for the younger kids but in the end, we were led by the three seniors.”
Amherst set the tone in the championship game with three runs in the top of the first inning after two were out. Lezon started it off with a walk and stole second. Emch drove him in with a sharp single to left and Dalzell drove in Emch with a booming double to the gap in right-center. Dalzell scored on Luke Feakins’ single to center.
“I think the count was 3-1 and I just saw a fastball right down the plate,” Dalzell said of his double. “I tried to rip it in the gap and that’s what I did.”
“Any time you can score first – especially when you put up a crooked number – it puts a lot of pressure on the other team,” Rositano said. “When you’ve got a guy like Dalzell throwing the way he did, three runs was all we needed.”
At times this past spring Amherst struggled to score runs but Rositano was very pleased with his offense this week.
“Other than the Elyria game on Wednesday (a 1-0 loss), we’ve been hitting the ball all week,” he said. “Nice to get the bats going and stay hot. Both games (Sunday) we got the timely hits.”
Jason Monos joined Dalzell with two hits. Lezon, Dylan Bailey and Caleb McGee had the other hits for Amherst.
Keystone certainly held its own, especially considering it had to knock off three Division I schools to reach the final. It beat Medina twice, including the semifinal, where Justin Lenz’s sacrifice fly with one out scored the winning run in a 4-3 nail biter. Nick Twining singled and stole second and third to set up the winning sequence.
“We like playing D-I schools because of the competition,” said acting coach E. J. Pokorny. “Hands down, we have some really good Division I baseball schools in our area. It’s always fun to come out and compete with them.
“Amherst was a top five team in the state. I think our kids might have cracked a little bit under pressure and made some mistakes. Obviously a good ball club like Amherst, they’re going to capitalize on those.”
Sean Saterlee drew the starting pitching assignment against Amherst and faired pretty well. He surrendered three runs in the first inning after two outs and that was the difference. Nate Archer drove in the first run with a triple in the first inning but was left stranded at third on two short fly balls not deep enough to get him in. Mike Mileski and Kaden Anderson had the other Keystone hits.
Amherst escaped trouble early and often in getting to the finals. Elyria had the bases loaded with no outs in the second inning and threatened to score several other times but couldn’t get the key hit against Justin Hritsko.
Hritsko allowed seven hits but did not issue a walk. He struck out seven.
“We had runners in scoring position the first four innings,” said Elyria coach Ed Piazza. “Especially with no outs, bases loaded. We couldn’t get that guy across. It was going to be that one little break and (Amherst) got it.”
Elyria’s Chris Willis was pretty sharp on the mound. He struck out seven and walked just one but Amherst managed to score three times in the top of the sixth inning for a 4-0 lead. Steven Hastings and Michael Knapp each had two hits for Elyria. Emch drove in two runs for Amherst.
Amherst 5, Keystone 2
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Monos 4 0 2 1 Emerick 1 2 0 0
McCrann 4 0 0 0 Archer 3 0 1 1
Lezon 1 2 1 0 Meleski 3 0 1 1
McGee 2 0 1 0 Saterlee 3 0 0 0
Emch 3 1 1 1 KMealwitz 3 0 0 0
Dalzell 3 1 2 1 Yusko 2 0 0 0
Feakins 2 0 1 1 Twining 2 0 0 0
Ritter 2 0 0 0 MMealwitz 2 0 0 0
Kendall 2 0 0 0 Houston 1 0 0 0
Kelling 1 0 0 0 Bowen 1 0 0 0
Qualls 2 1 0 0 Lenz 1 0 0 0
Bailey 3 0 1 0 Kincaid 1 0 0 0
Prunty 1 0 0 0
Anderson 1 0 1 0
Totals 29 5 9 4 Totals 25 2 3 2
Amherst 301 100 0 —5 9 3
Keystone 100 000 1 —2 3 2
2B—Dalzell, 3B—Archer. SB—Lezon, Qualls. CS—Yusko. DP—Keystone. LOB—Amherst 7, Keystone 4.
IP H R ER BB SO
Dalzell (W) 6 2 1 1 1 5
Willbond 1 1 1 0 0 2
Saterlee (L) 6 7 5 4 3 3
Archer 1 2 0 0 0 0
WP—Saterlee 2. HBP—Ritter (by Saterlee).
- High school baseball: Evan Engle nearly perfect as Elyria bashes Bay on way to Amherst Summer Classic semifinals
- High school baseball: Keystone beats Medina to remain perfect at Amherst Summer Classic
- High school baseball: Host Comets roll over Lorain in Amherst Summer Classic
- Amherst Summer Baseball Classic: Elyria pours on the offense in rain-shortened rout of Lorain
- Hunters bag Comets: Elyria's Olsen and Osborne combine on three-hitter in 1-0 win over Amherst
- H.S. Baseball: Amherst opens summer tourney with convincing win over Bay, led by sophomore pitcher Justin Hritsko
- Amherst downs Medina 2-0 to advance to the Amherst Baseball July Classic final
- Amherst Baseball July Classic: Comets walks help St. Ignatius get runaway win