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Upset win puts Cumming in quarterfinals

By John Hartsock

jhartsock@altoonamirror.com

JOHNSTOWN — Standing 6-feet-6 and heading to Radford University on a Division I baseball scholarship, former Central High School star Devon Boyles is an imposing figure when he is at home plate with a bat in his hands.

Boyles is a home-run threat every time he steps in the batter’s box, and his power helped Altoona’s Cumming Motors entry in a big way in the AAABA National Tournament Wednesday night.

Boyles belted a mammoth three-run homer in the second inning, giving Altoona a 4-0 lead and setting the tone for its 8-3 victory over Johnstown’s Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors team at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.

Altoona and Johnstown’s Carpenter Advisors, along with New York, all finished pool play with identical 2-1 records after Wednesday’s games, but Altoona and Johnstown Carpenter Advisors will be the teams advancing to today’s quarterfinal round in the tournament because of a run differential advantage over New York in the three games played thus far.

Altoona will meet Brooklyn in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal game today at Johnstown’s Roxbury Park, while Johnstown’s Carpenter Advisors will face Cleveland at 7 p.m. tonight at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.

Boyles was looking fast ball on a 3-1 count, got his pitch from Johnstown righty Tyler Dancu, and drove a towering shot over the high left field fence and onto the street, scoring Claysburg grad Corey Chamberlain, who had doubled, and Altoona High grad Lucas Muffie, who had been hit by a pitch.

“It was a fast ball high and inside,” said Boyles, who played a big role as a senior on Central’s PIAA Class 3A state baseball championship team this past spring. “I was sitting fast ball on a 3-1 count, and I was planning to adjust to whatever he threw me.

“When it came off the bat, I knew that it was gone,” Boyles added.

So did everybody else in the ballpark.

“That was a game-changer, to go up 4-0 in the second inning,” Altoona manager Chris Sanders said. “He was sitting on a fast ball, and he hit it a long way.”

Johnstown manager Dave Sheriff, who was ejected from the game in the third inning, also thought the Boyles blast was the biggest hit of the game.

“It was a big momentum switch for them to go up 4-0 in the second inning,” said Sheriff, who became vocal after trying to make a position change in his lineup in the third inning and maintaining that he was being ignored by home plate umpire Brent Dorofey, who then tossed Sheriff.

“We were flat at the beginning of the game,” Sheriff said.

Altoona had an 8-1 lead after four innings, following a three-run third inning in which two wild pitches and an RBI infield single by Erik Rhodes led to the Cumming Motors runs.

Hollidaysburg High School product Sam Servello, who is pitching collegiately on the Division I level at the University of Toledo, tossed a solid 6 2/3 innings for the win. The right-hander spaced eight hits, gave up three earned runs, walked four and struck out four.

Lefty Max Meings, who is pitching at Penn State Altoona, did a good job in relief for Cumming Motors, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, striking out three batters, and walking just two.

“Sam Servello has been here before,” Sanders said. “He threw a fantastic game, kept them off-balance the entire game, and threw strikes. He was spot-on tonight.”

Johnstown stranded 14 baserunners in the game, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings.

Moving on to the quarterfinals was the goal for both teams Wednesday, and the run differential factor accomplished it.

“Getting out of pool play is the big thing,” Sheriff said. “Now we’re in a whole different season with elimination games.”

Sanders said that the Cumming Motors team has been playing with extra incentive this season, in honor of league president John Austin.

“He’s been battling some health issues, and we’ve really been playing this season for him,” Sanders said.

ALTOONA CUMMING MOTORS (8): Bakken dh 300, Steinbugl ss 421, Lehner lf 401, Burd c 401, Hillard cf 512, Chamberlain 3b 421, Muffie 2b 410, Boyles 1b 322, Rhodes rf 403, Servello p 000, Meings p 000. Totals – 35-8-11.

JOHNSTOWN PAUL CARPENTER CAPITAL ADVISORS (3): Dunlap ss 311, Sweeney rf 502, Perroz 1b 412, Fleming dh 300, Zilli ph 100, Kozlovac c 100, Taitano 312, Seaman lf 501, Bannias 2b 401, Cappellini 3b 400, Sabol cf 100, Dancu p 000, Treolar p 000, Starr p 000. Totals – 34-3-9.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Altoona 133 100 000 — 8 11 0

Johnstown 001 000 200 — 3 9 0

2B–Chamberlain, Sweeney. HR–Boyles. RBI–Boyles 3, Rhodes, Hillard, Burd, Sweeney, Bannias, Sabol. SAC–Bakken 2. SB–Chamberlain, Hillard. HBP–Muffie by Dancu; Steinbugl by Treolar; Sabol by Servello; Dunlap by Servello; Taitano by Servello. LOB–Johnstown 14, Altoona 8.

PITCHING:

Altoona: Servello (W) 6.2IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 4SO; Meings 2.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 3SO.

Johnstown: Dancu (L) 2.1IP, 5H, 7R, 6ER, 2BB, 1SO; Treolar 2.1IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 3SO; Starr 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 4SO.

WP–Dancu, Treolar 2, Servello 2. PB–Kozlovac.

Records: Altoona and Johnstown both finished 2-1 in pool play and will advance to the quarterfinals today.

Umpires: Brent Dorofey (plate); Don Bachota (first base); Seth Matthews (third base).

Time of game: 3:06.

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