MONDAY'S PIAA PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Eastern York, Red Land earn wins in state baseball openers
The Eastern York Golden Knights made an emphatic opening statement on Monday when the PIAA baseball playoffs began.
The Knights started their Class 4-A state journey with a 14-1 five-inning mercy-rule pounding of District 6 champion Bellefonte at Bald Eagle Area High School in Wingate, Centre County.
Eastern (18-4), the third-place team from District 3, will now advance to the state 4-A quarterfinals against District 7 champion New Castle (15-9), which rolled to a 14-3 victory over District 10 runner-up Harbor Creek on Monday. The quarterfinal battle is set for 3 p.m. Thursday at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Cambria County. Both Eastern and New Castle will face a drive of between two and three hours.
Another York County team also advanced to the state quarterfinals on Monday. Red Land made the final eight in 5-A with a 6-3 victory over Marple Newtown.
In Monday’s victory for Eastern, Owen Shimmel pitched all five innings, striking out five while walking one and allowing five hits. He did not permit an earned run.
Nate Dandridge doubled for the winners and drove in four runs, while also scoring twice. He also walked three times.
Eastern’s Justin Ranker added three hits, including a triple, with three runs scored and two RBIs, while Evan Rishell added two hits, including a double, with three runs scored and two walks.
In all, the Knights coaxed eight walks from Bellefonte pitchers, in addition to pounding out a dozen hits.
Bellefonte finished 12-8.
OTHER PIAA BASEBALL
Red Land 6, Marple Newtown 3: At Red Lion, the Patriots advanced to the PIAA Class 5-A quarterfinals behind the pitching of Ryan Gordon and Christian Lubic.
Gordon went the first 4 2/3 innings and didn't give up an earned run. He gave up three hits with one strikeout and one walk in a no-decision. Lubic got the win with 2 1/3 innings of one-hit, one-run relief. He struck out two and walked two.
The game was tied 2-2 after 4 1/2 innings before Red Land scored three in the bottom of the fifth and one more in the sixth to take a 6-2 edge.
Drew Hildebrand had two hits and three RBIs for the winners, while Ethan Phillips added two hits, including a double, with an RBI. Kaden Peifer added two hits for Red Land.
The District 3 champion Patriots improved to 23-4. Marple Newtown, the third-place team from District 1, finished at 16-8.
In the quarterfinals, Red Land will face District 12 champion Archbishop Wood (19-4), which won its state opener on Monday over District 1 runner-up Oxford, 4-0. Oxford fell to 16-8. The quarterfinal is set for 4 p.m. Thursday at Muhlenberg High School in Berks County. Both teams will face a drive of between one and two hours.
Bethel Park 5, Northern York 1: At Red Lion, Northern York couldn’t solve the Evan Holewinski puzzle.
Holewinski pitched Bethel Park to a victory over the York County team in a PIAA Class 5-A first-round baseball playoff game. The 6-foot, 3-inch sophomore right-hander limited Northern to four singles in an efficient complete-game effort that required just 83 pitches. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
Holewinski limited Northern to two hits through the first six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, the Polar Bears matched that total on singles from Nathan Harlacker and Alec Welshans. Harlacker drove in the only run for Northern, while Welshans scored the only run.
The Bears did bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but a groundball out left the bases loaded and ended the contest.
Tanner Merovich and Kade Kitts had Northern’s other hits.
Tommy Molsky started on the mound for Northern and went six innings, striking out 10 and walking one. He gave up eight hits and four earned runs in taking the loss.
Northern, the District 3 5-A runner-up, sees its season end at 20-7. Bethel Park, the District 7 5-A runner-up, improved to 19-4 and advanced to Thursday’s state quarterfinals.
Beaver 11, Eastern York 0 (5 innings): At Norwin, Eastern York’s softball season came to a close on Monday afternoon with a loss to Beaver in a PIAA Class 4-A first-round contest.
Payton List led the Bobcats over Eastern by throwing a shutout, striking out 13, walking one and allowing one hit.
For the Golden Knights, Ella Corwell went 1 for 2 at the plate, while teammate Morgan Estes started the game on the mound and threw four innings, striking out one.
Eastern York (15-7) has now been eliminated from the tournament.
Beaver advances to the PIAA 4-A quarterfinals, which are set for Thursday.
Cambria Heights 8, Bermudian Springs 1: At Loretto, Bermudian's unlikely postseason run ended with a loss in a PIAA Class 3-A first-round contest.
Hannah Chenault had two of Bermudian's five hits. Ashlyn Smith, Maya Kemper and Briella Riley each singled for the Eagles. Tori Murren started for Bermudian and went four innings, allowing three earned runs. Maddie Reever allowed one earned run in two innings of relief.
The District 3 runner-up Eagles finished at 12-12.
District 6 champion Cambria Heights improved to 22-1.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dave VanO'Linda contributed to this report.