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BATH TOWNSHIP -- Kenny Linn has seen heartbreak and glory during his 14-year tenure as Tallmadge's head baseball coach.
More than anything, Linn has seen his team win games. Because of that, he reached a major milestone in his coaching career last week.
The Blue Devils earned a 10-0 victory over Revere April 25 at Dave Young Field. The game was called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.
That victory gave Linn his 300th career win.
On April 26, Linn got career win No. 301 in wild fashion, as Tallmadge defeated the Minutemen 15-10 in Bath Township.
With the wins, the Blue Devils improved to 14-4 overall and 7-3 in the Suburban League American Conference as of press time.
Linn was quick to deflect praise from himself for reaching the milestone.
"It was the kids who won all those games," he said. "I just got the credit for it. My joke was, it took me 500 [games] to get to 300 [wins], so I'm not doing all that great."
As of press time, Linn's career record stood at 301-201, with 243 of those wins coming at Tallmadge. His career record also includes a 58-79 mark during his five-year tenure at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Tallmadge athletic director Don Seeker -- who served as head baseball coach at Tallmadge before Linn --noted he was a bit lucky to hire Linn 14 years ago.
"When we coached against each other, I knew he was very knowledgable," Seeker said. "He was actually contemplating that he was done [coaching]. When I called him, he just said, 'Oh my gosh, what an opportunity.' Fourteen years later, he's still here. He's a baseball freak. He loves the game."
Linn also had to love the way his team played April 25 against Revere.
Pitcher Zach Boyd finished with nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits in five innings of work.
Seth Gergely had a huge day at the plate for the Blue Devils. He had four hits, including a double and a triple, three runs batted in and two runs scored.
Phil Glasser had two hits and a run scored and Jared Burick had a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Scott Seeker added a double, an RBI and a run scored for the Blue Devils.
Meanwhile, the April 26th game was anything but a thing of beauty.
Five Tallmadge pitchers combined to give up 11 walks to the Minutemen, while the Blue Devils committed two errors and were the victims of several bad-hop hits.
"We had a couple of guys who needed to get some work in," Linn said. "You're always disappointed when you give up that many walks. I'm proud of the fact that we were able to come back and win it. We feel very good about this team."
The slugfest started immediately, as Revere also was the victim of errors and bad hops.
Tallmadge led off the first with a single from Glasser, an run-scoring single from Sam Seeker, a single from Boyd and an sacrifice fly from Scott Seeker. Boyd later scored on an error to make it 3-0.
Sam Seeker hit a sacrifice fly in the second to make it 4-1 and a three-run fourth for the Blue Devils was highlighted by a run-scoring triple from Scott Seeker.
This time, the Minutemen were able to come back.
Revere drew four walks, stole two bases, forced a throwing error and hit two run-scoring ground outs to tie the game at six after four innings.
Then, the Minutemen took the lead in the fifth. Two sacrifice bunts, a run-scoring single from catcher Nate Klonowski and a two-run error allowed Revere to lead 9-6 after five innings.
Tallmadge's offense kept coming
In the sixth inning, Glasser led off with a double and Sam Seeker walked, followed by a wild pitch, a throwing error and a run-scoring ground out by Boyd to tie it at 9-9.
Scott Seeker then walked and Josh Taylor doubled, followed by a bad-hop single from Jake Rensel to score two runs. Rensel later scored on a run-scoring triple from Gergely to make it 12-9 Blue Devils.
The Minutemen pushed one run home in the bottom of the sixth win a run-scoring ground out.
However, Scott Seeker erased all doubt about the game by blasting a three-run home run over the right-field fence in the top of the seventh. He then pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh to preserve the win.
Scott Seeker was the only Blue Devil pitcher not to give up a run, as he pitched 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Reliever Mikah McGlaughlin got the win for Tallmadge despite giving up three runs (one earned) in 1-1/3 innings of work.
Linn said the Blue Devils were looking forward to a game April 28 at Massillon Jackson and April 29 against Suburban League crossover rival Wadsworth at Canal Park in Akron. Results of those games were not available are press time.
Tallmadge faces its final American Conference series when it is scheduled to visit Aurora May 2 before hosting the Greenmen May 3. First pitch for both games is set for 4:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils are set to visit Canfield May 4 at 5 p.m.