BLOG: Dallastown-State College battle to likely pit two D-I pitchers against each other
Just a quick glance at the records, and most observers would likely believe that Dallastown should be a solid favorite going into Monday's PIAA Class 6-A state baseball semifinal against State College.
Records, however, don't always tell the whole story, and that could very well be the case in Monday's battle, set for 4:30 p.m. at Hershey.
The Wildcats are clearly rolling, having won 19 straight games while compiling an overall record of 22-4. They have already claimed the York-Adams Division I, York-Adams League Tournament and District 3 6-A crowns. They have NCAA Division I talent at multiple positions.
The Little Lions, meanwhile, are just 13-10, and they entered the postseason at just 10-10. They were 8-6 in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division.
A victory over Altoona, however, earned State College the District 6 6-A crown, and two more state wins over North Allegheny (1-0) and Penn Manor (3-1) earned the Lions their state semifinal berth.
By just looking at the scores, it appears obvious that State College can pitch a little, and unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Lions' ace will likely be on the hill for Monday's game.
Mason Mellott, a Penn State recruit, dominated North Allegheny in State College's state opener, throwing a two-hitter, while striking out 12. For the year, Mellott is just 5-4, but his ERA stands at 1.53. He's striking out nearly 10 batters per seven innings pitched.
Dallastown, however, can pitch a little, too. The Wildcats have given up just two runs in two PIAA games, an 8-1 decision over Hatboro-Horsham and a 5-1 victory over St. Joseph's Prep.
Like State College, Dallastown will have a top pitcher ready to start. Nick Parker was injured early in the season, but the Coastal Carolina recruit has excelled of late. Since his return to the mound, he's 2-0 with a 1.07 ERA. That includes a two-hitter vs. Hatboro-Horsham, when he struck out six and walked one.
With two NCAA Division I recruits likely on the mound, runs could be at a premium on Monday.
Both teams, however, also have some offensive firepower.
Joe Capobianco (.373), Pete Capobianco (.361), Parker (.349), Bryant Holtzapple (.325), Tye Golden (.318) and Alex Weakland (.300) are all hitting .300 or better for the Wildcats. Joe Capobianco leads Dallastown with 24 RBIs and 31 hits. Dallastown is scoring just more than six runs per game and giving up about 2 1/2 runs per game.
State College, meanwhile, has seven players hitting .312 or higher, led by Liam Clarke (.406), Matthew Tomczuk (.397) and Christian Friberg (.396). State College is scoring just under six runs per game and giving up just more than four runs per game.
The Wildcats-Lions victor will face the winner of Monday's semifinal between District 1 champion Pennsbury (20-6) and District 11 champion Liberty (25-3).
The state championship is set for 3:30 p.m. Friday at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.