BLOOMSBURG - Two days made the difference for the Delone Catholic baseball team.
The Squires lost their PIAA Class AA quarterfinal against Loyalsock Township, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at Bloomsburg University. The game started Thursday but was suspended because of rain.
Delone led 5-4 entering Saturday's restart, which picked up with the fourth inning, but allowed five unanswered runs.
That was enough with an improved Kyle Datres pitching for Loyalsock. He allowed two hits and one walk, against six strikeouts, on Saturday after striking out and walking one in an inning Thursday.
"That guy pitched the other day, but he wasn't the same," Squires coach Alan Felix said. "He was much better today. That's the guy I expected to see."
The Squires (19-5) elected to switch pitchers, going from starter Dalton Haymaker to reliever Sam Stephan. After a 1-2-3 fourth inning, Stephan allowed a two-run triple to Loyalsock's Ethan Moore. Moore then scored after a throwing error on the relay throw by Haymaker, who was playing second.
Stephan, who took the loss, retired the next two batters, but the damage was done.
"We thought we had the right matchup in Sam," Felix said. "You saw that in his first inning. He basically made one bad pitch. It was up in the zone to that kid. I think we made the right decision."
Lancers coach Jeremy Eck thought Moore's big hit would be enough for Datres.
"With Kyle Datres on the mound?" Eck said. "It's huge. He's one of the best players in the state. We know if we can get a lead with him on the mound, he's a competitor and he's going to get the job done for us. Just to come back and get even or jump ahead was absolutely huge."
Eck also thought the decision to bring Datres back was easy. Felix chose not to bring back Haymaker because of Haymaker's pitch count Thursday.
"There is no tomorrow," Eck said. "We understand he's our No. 1. But you come out and you throw someone out there who might not be ready, you're not playing on Monday. You have to go with your best to win. The guys who play for tomorrow are the guys who get burned."
Loyalsock (18-2) plays Salisbury in the semifinals at Bloomsburg University on Monday.
Delone had good scoring opportunities Saturday but couldn't convert.
Senior Brett Smith led off the fourth with a single and then stole second and third, giving him four stolen bases in the game. However, Datres struck out three consecutive hitters to end the inning.
"We needed to get one there," Felix said. "He got some big strikeouts."
The Squires put runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth and runners on first and third with two outs in the sixth but were shut down. Haymaker led off the seventh with a walk but was stranded at second as Datres recorded three consecutive outs to end the game.
"I think that they were the better team today," Felix said. "The weather probably had an impact on the way he threw the ball the other day. With that being said, I have to say that postponement hurt us."
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