A Return to the Playoffs for Curwensville Golden Tide Baseball

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CURWENSVILLE – After starting the season at 0-4 not many thought that the Curwensville Area High School baseball team would end up with a winning record, let alone make the District-9 AA playoffs.

With a complete turnaround, the Golden Tide went on to win 10 of its last 15 games and five of the last six to move into post season play with an overall record of 10-9.

Also, the Tide was perfect in the Moshannon Valley League at 4-0 to win the 2014 MVL crown.

Just three teams are entered in the 2014 District-9 AA playoffs and the Tide start action in a semifinal game on Thursday at Karns City.  The 4:30 pm start features the number three seeded Tide (10-9) against Karns City (12-2), the two seed, with the winner playing top seed Moniteau (13-2) on May 28 for the championship.

Golden Tide head coach Denny Johns talked about a return to playoff baseball, saying, “We’re excited to be back in the district playoffs after missing out for the past three years. I’m really proud of this group of guys.  To get off to the slow start like we did and then battle back to win 10 of our last 15 games is a real tribute to our young men.  It’s a testament to their will to work and get better and never give up.”

Johns continued with, “We enter the playoffs healthy, and both pitching staffs (Curwensville & Karns City) will be well rested.  We don’t know much about Karns City, other than they are 12-2, and you don’t finish with that type of record without talent.  We will have to play our best baseball to advance.”

Curwensville last competed in the District 9 baseball playoffs on June 1, 2010 in single “A” action, losing to A. C. Valley 6-3 in the semifinals in St. Marys.

Senior Tanner Elensky paces the Golden Tide in hitting with a lofty season average of .515 which includes 15 extra base hits (11 doubles) and 14 RBI’s.

Fellow seniors Brett Gardner and Kyle Johns have also done well for Curwensville’s offense with Gardner batting .382 and driving in a team leading 19 runs, while Johns has driven home 15 teammates and hit at a .320 clip.

Gardner has a team high three home runs on the season.

Catcher Tyler Mays, another senior, also has done well at the plate, coming into the playoffs with the third best Tide batting average at .351.

Johns leads the Tide pitching staff with a 3-2 record, followed by Ricky Magnuson at 2-1.

With pitchers having 20 or more innings on the mound, Gardner (34 innings pitched)  has the best ERA on the team at 2.88.

Coach Johns talked about what’s required to win, commenting, “Consistent offense will be the key to our success. In our nine losses this year we scored a total of 13 runs.  It’s awfully difficult to win with that type of offensive production.  We finished the year very strong offensively, with contributions from everyone up and down the lineup.  We certainly hope that production continues into the playoffs this week.”

Tide Scoreboard:

3/24 JOHNSONBURG ppd. 0 – 0
3/26 @ DuBois Central Catholic ppd. 0 – 0
3/28 CLARION susp. – 1st 0 – 0
3/31 BROOKVILLE 1 – 7 0 – 1
4/02 CLARION 0 – 10 0 – 2
4/03 @ Harmony ppd. 0 – 2
4/04 JOHNSONBURG ppd. 0 – 2
4/07 @ Kane ppd. 0 – 2
4/09 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 1 – 3 0 – 3
4/11 @ West Branch ppd. 0 – 3
4/14 @ Brockway ppd. 0 – 3
4/16 @ Ridgway ppd. 0 – 3
4/17 @ Punxsutawney 1 – 4 0 – 4
4/21 MO VALLEY 8 – 4 1 – 4
4/23 @ Johnsonburg 2 – 3 1 – 5
4/25 @ West Branch 9 – 6 2 – 5
4/26 JOHNSONBURG 9 – 5 3 – 5
4/28 DUBOIS CENTRAL 0 – 5 3 – 6
5/01 @ Kane ppd. 3 – 6
5/02 @ Glendale 8 – 2 4 – 6
5/05 KANE 9 – 7 5 – 6
5/07 @ Elk County Catholic 0 – 10 5 – 7
5/08 @ DuBois Central 4 – 10 5 – 8
5/10 @ Kane 11 – 4 6 – 8
5/12 BROCKWAY 5 – 3 7 – 8
5/12 BROCKWAY 4 – 5 7 – 9
5/13 @ Harmony 14 – 2 8 – 9
5/14 RIDGWAY 11 – 1 9 – 9
5/14 RIDGWAY 6 – 0 10 – 9
District 9 AA Playoffs
5/22 @ Karns City

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