The Cardinals scored five times in the first inning and then held on for a 7-5 win.
By JOHN BUTERA
CANFIELD -- The Canfield High baseball team made a five-run outburst in the first inning stand up as it defeated Salem 7-5 Thursday in a Division II sectional championship game.
The Cardinals (17-8) advanced to play Poland in a district semifinal game next Thursday at Cene Park. Poland defeated Chaney 9-1 Thursday.
Canfield wasted little time as leadoff hitter Doug Hudoba reached on an error and advanced to third on a double by Mike Turjanica. One out later, Canfield parlayed three singles and had two runners score on the same passed ball to take a 5-0 lead.
Salem (11-16) appeared to be out of danger earlier in the inning when the Quakers thought they had picked a runner off third base. The umpire, however, ruled the runner safe.
"How can you forget that call?" Salem coach Sean Kirkland said. "He blew the game. He was asleep and that was the difference in the game. That was hard to swallow."
Quakers battle back: Salem battled back, however, using a double from E.J. Boron and an RBI single from Jake Conrad to make the score 5-1. The Quakers also added a run in the third, but Canfield answered with two more in the fifth to take a 7-2 lead.
RBI singles from Tom Banna and Paul Suhar scored teammates Scott Wadman and Dave Miller, who had both doubled.
"It gave us a tremendous advantage," Canfield coach Lee Frey said of the early lead. "We were able to do some things offensively that they weren't able to do."
Trailing 7-3 in their last at-bat, the Quakers didn't go down quietly.
Judd Crowgey led off with a single before Boron was hit by a pitch. Conrad then walked to load the bases.
Lang in relief: Canfield called on reliever Blair Lang, who struck out the first batter he faced. Ken Buckley solved Lang with a single to drive home two runs.
After getting a flyball out to center field, Lang walked Mike Prendergast to again load the bases. But Lang fanned the final Salem batter.
"I was kind of pumped up," Lang said. "I'm normally a starter, so I like this situation. It was something new. I just wanted to get the ball over the plate as much as possible."