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Dos Palos baseball survives shaky seventh

JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/THE ENTERPRISE
A Dos Palos player takes a swing during a Central Section Division IV first round playoff game Wednesday afternoon in Dos Palos.
JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/THE ENTERPRISE A Dos Palos player takes a swing during a Central Section Division IV first round playoff game Wednesday afternoon in Dos Palos. Merced Sun-Star

DOS PALOS -- Jason Von Allman knows if his Dos Palos baseball team is going to make a run at a third Central Section title in the last four years, his underclassmen will have to come of age quickly.

Allman has seven sophomores on his roster, five of which were in the starting lineup for Wednesday's 5-4 victory against Kerman in their Division IV playoff opener.

The nail-biter likely provided immeasurable game experience for the entire group, but none more so than Kevin Flohr.

The sophomore third baseman felt the full gamut of playoff emotions, going from possible goat to hero in the span of five batters in the seventh inning.

With Dos Palos staked to a 5-2 lead and looking in complete control, Flohr helped open the door for a comeback -- following a leadoff walk -- by booting a possible double-play ball.

Kerman happily took advantage, pulling within a run and loading the bases on a single sandwiched in between a pair of hit batsmen, all with no outs.

Flohr's redemption came in the form of one of the hardest hit balls on the day. Kerman's L.J. Sandoval lined a laser to third, which Flohr caught and then doubled Josh Georgeson off of third base.

Soloman Ramirez induced a game-ending ground ball to short and Dos Palos escaped with the victory.

"I was pretty upset after the error," Flohr said. "I wasn't really thinking double play when he lined the ball at me. I just wasn't going to blow another one.

"It was a pretty great feeling when I beat the guy to third."

DP took a 5-2 lead in the sixth on a pair of RBI singles.

Catcher Ryan Yriarte led off the inning with a triple and scored on Tyler Collins' basehit.

Collins, who advanced to third on stolen base and a throwing error, scored what proved to be the game-winning run on a Matt Montez single.

DP will travel to top-seeded Kingsburg on Friday. Kingsburg beat Dos Palos 12-9 at the beginning of April, but this is a very different Dos Palos team.

"Our guys have come a long way in the last month," Von Allman said. "Our young guys have learned a lot, and you could see the team come together because of it.

"Kingsburg has earned the right to be No. 1, but I expect it to be a close game."

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