Sabath strikes out 13, Christopher Dock shuts out Faith Christian in District 1-A first round

TOWAMENCIN — With velocity reaching up into the mid 80’s and a slider that Faith Christian could never quite figure out, Christopher Dock right-hander Daniel Sabath was dominant right from the start on Thursday afternoon.

“He was on,’ Pioneers coach Ed Melendez said of his sophomore starter. “The good thing is that he has tremendous command. He can throw the change-up, slider, fastball, and sometimes it’s difficult for the hitter to catch up. When he’s on, he’s on, and today he was on.’

Sabath threw a complete-game one-hitter for top-seeded Dock, as the Pioneers earned a 4-0 win over fifth-seeded Faith Christian in the District 1-A baseball semifinals. The win advanced the Pioneers to Wednesday’s district final at Methacton, where they will take on third-seeded Delco Christian, a 4-0 winner over No. 2 Jenkintown in the other semifinal on Thursday.

Sabath retired the first seven batters he faced, including five for strikeouts, in Dock’s playoff opener.

“I felt great,’ the sophomore said. “My slider was working — definitely. I was able to hit my spots with it. I was able to throw it for a ball and a strike and was trying to get them to chase it.’

With Sabath in control, Dock’s offense was able to get the early lead.

No. 2 hitter Tyler Alderfer drew a walk, stole second, and then raced home on an RBI single by Tim DiLoreto to put the Pioneers in front, 1-0. Dock would add two more runs in the bottom of the first, as Seth Frankenfield’s groundout to short enabled DiLoreto to score, and an infield single by Rasheed Saint Lafleur drove another one in to give the Pioneers a 3-0 edge.

Faith right-hander Nathan Blake pitched well over the next three innings, keeping the Pioneers from adding to their lead, but in the fifth, Dock was able to stretch the margin to 4-0, as Alderfer drew a leadoff walk and then scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Andrew Walters.

“It was good all around,’ Melendez said of the win. “They’re really relaxed.’

Ethan Bell smacked a single to right for Faith’s lone hit in the third, and then Sabath settled right back in, with Alderfer making a sliding catch in center for the third out of the inning.

Sabath retired the Lions in order the rest of the way, including his 13th and final strikeout to end the contest for Dock, which can push through to states with a victory on Wednesday.

Faith, a program on the rise, had one of its finest seasons in years, which included a first-round Bicentennial Athletic League victory and a 10-7 overall record.

“We had momentum coming off of (BAL’s) and we knew we were in a tough situation with Dock,’ Lions coach Marc Hoover said. “Just a lot of plusses this year. I told the guys there’s nothing to hang their heads about. We’ll look ahead to next year now.’

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