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AKRON — Nothing beats experience in the playoffs and a good number of Tallmadge baseball players have reached the district level three straight years.
Thus, it was no surprise the Blue Devils showed some poise in a 6-2 win over Akron Springfield May 17 in a Division II district semifinal at Canal Park in Akron.
With the win, Tallmadge (20-6) advances to play Canal Fulton Northwest in the district final at Canal Park May 18 at 2 p.m. Northwest upset previously undefeated Field 8-5 in nine innings May 17.
Tallmadsge ace Zach Boyd (4-2) pitched a complete game, allowing two earned runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Tallmadge opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning.
Walks to designated hitter Josh Taylor and center fielder Jared Burick were followed by a single by second baseman Jake Rensel.
With two outs, shortstop Phil Glasser hit a two-run single, which caused Springfield coach Randy Jarvis to pull starting pitcher Colin Hormish after just 1.67 innings.
Tallmadge right fielder Seth Gergely greeted reliever Cameron Schultz with an RBI double to make it 3-0 after two innings.
Schultz kept the Blue Devils in check until the sixth inning, when the Spartans offense showed life.
After a walk and an infield single, Spartan third baseman Travis Whitecotton smacked a two-run double to right-center, cutting the lead to 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, however, Tallmadge struck back.
With one out Rensel doubled and Derek Lightel came on to pinch run. Catcher Rich Eyre singled, but Glasser struck out.
Gergley then came through with a single through the hole at first to score to runs. Gergley scored himself on an RBI double from Boyd to make it 6-2.
Boyd gave up a walk in the seventh, but slammed the door on the Spartans to send Tallmadge to the final.