Niles nips Poland to earn title shot
Niles scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice bunt in the third inning and held off a seventh-inning Poland rally in beating the Bulldogs, 4-3, Tuesday in a Division II district semifinal at Cene Park.
Niles will face Canfield, which beat Cardinal Mooney, 4-3, in its semifinal game. The title game is scheduled today at 6:30 p.m. at Cene Park.
Trailing 2-1 with one out in the third, Nick Guarnieri and Joe Gallo singled for the Red Dragons. David Mays tied the game with another single and Luke Swauger put Niles ahead for good with his bunt.
The Dragons later scored an insurance run in the fifth on a base hit by Dylan Weida, which was needed when Poland scored in the seventh and loaded the bases with two outs.
Brandon Hayes replaced starter Marco DeFalco, who struck out nine and walked eight in the game, and closed out the win with a groundout.
Guarnieri and Gallo finished with two hits apiece for the Red Dragons.
Poland was led by Reed McCreery with a double and a single and Stephen Carney with two hits.
In Canfield’s win over Mooney, Jack Rafoth pitched five innings to earn the win and Anthony Longo got the save. Canfield was led by Dom Pilolli with two hits — one being a triple — and an RBI. Ian McGraw had a two-run double in a three-run fifth inning to give Canfield the win.
For Cardinal Mooney, Anthony Potesta had three hits, and Jake Fonderlin had an RBI double.
Canfield defeated Boardman, 6-1, to claim the All-American Conference Red Tier title with a record of 9-1. Mary Gomez hit a three-run home run in the third inning for the Cardinals.