A game of inches.
A tough call.
Pick a baseball cliché or adage, and it probably could apply to a well-played, hard-fought PIAA Class A semifinal game at Rich Kuntz Memorial Field on Monday afternoon.
Undefeated Elk County Catholic edged Bishop McCort 1-0, ending the Crushers’ hopes of advancing to the state championship game for a second time in three seasons.
“It’s a game of inches and you never know what’s going to happen,” McCort senior right-hander Brad Coleman said after throwing a solid outing for a sixth consecutive playoff game.
While Coleman was effective again, Elk County right-hander Brandon Schlimm also was strong while striking out 11 and walking three in a four-hitter.
“It was a well-pitched game both ways,” McCort coach Chris Pfeil said. “You’ve got to give their guy credit. He got the tough outs when he needed to.”
The Crushers finished 18-8 after winning their third consecutive 6-A crown and advancing deep in the state playoffs for a fourth straight season (two quarterfinal finishes; one semifinal finish; one state title in 2012).
The Crusaders take a 26-0 record into Friday’s Class A championship against Devon Prep, a 4-0 winner over Schuylkill Haven on Monday.
“They played a heck of a game,’ Schlimm said of McCort, a team which beat Elk County Catholic 17-0 in the same round and site in 2012. “It just so happened we won this one.
“I started off pretty rough,” Schlimm added. “The first couple innings I was struggling to find the zone. Then I just started to find my groove the last couple innings. I was starting to find my fastball.”
McCort had a runner reach third base in five of the seven innings. The Crushers stranded eight baserunners.
“I don’t think I could have let another runner on third,” Schlimm said. “Somehow we got out of it every time.”
The Crushers appeared to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, but a controversial ruling negated courtesy runner Zef Leech’s apparent run.
The odd play began with Leech at second base as a runner for Coleman, who reached on an error, and Alex Sobecky on first after a walk.
Ethan Neiderhiser hit a foul ball. Schlimm got a new ball on the mound and turned to second base for a pick-off throw.
The ball sailed into center field, and the Crusaders’ Vincent Jacob bobbled it, allowing Leech to reach home and Sobekcy to advance to third.
The home plate umpire sent the runners back to their original bases and erased the run.
“The explanation on the play was that (the umpire) said he never put the ball back in play from the foul ball,” Pfeil said. “My question on it is how does a pitcher get on the rubber, take the sign, come set, turn and make a pick-off play, and the ball was never put back in play? I just can’t understand that.
- High School Sports
McCort pitcher wins May Award
Bishop McCort High School’s Brad Coleman earned the May Point Stadium Award nomination based on his performance in a District 6 Class A playoff victory on May 22.
Coleman pitched a seven-inning, complete game in a 7-2 win over Homer-Center in the 6-A semifinal round. With the win, McCort clinched its fourth consecutive state tournament playoff berth.
Richland pole vaulter decides on Red Flash
Maddison Feather has sailed to great heights throughout her scholastic career at Richland High School.
Feather – a pole vaulter – takes away a District 6 title and an appearance in the PIAA championship meet from her senior season with the Rams.
Area players get PHSBCA nods
Brad Coleman and Alex Sobecky were part of an amazing four-year run by the Bishop McCort High School baseball team.
Jack Shirk is an underclassman who stood out on a Richland squad that also has been one of the best in the LHAC in recent seasons.
Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game
The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.
Local stars shine in Ken Lantzy Finest 40 game
While the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game brings football standouts from across the region to Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium, Friday night’s contest took on a distinct Richland flavor as the South toppled the North 48-18 in the 44th edition of the summer football contest.
Former coach honored for long service
The venerable Jerry Page, former coach of Laurel Valley, always preached that football was so much more than just a game.
Page, whose son Greg of Homer-Center was the North squad coach Friday at the 44th Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game, was honored prior to the start of the game.
North offense shows big gains during Lantzy practices
As the North offense prepared for tonight’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Trojan Stadium on the campus of Greater Johnstown High School, tightening up issues with timing and terminology was at the top of the unit’s to-do list.
If the North’s offense takes the field and operates with machine-like precision tonight, it can thank the intersquad scrimmage on Tuesday as the breakthrough point of the group’s progress during the week.
Three quality quarterbacks bolster South’s chances in Lantzy Game
The South squad has an impressive arsenal of offensive talent on hand for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game, set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium.
The Rebels have three skilled quarterbacks on the roster who have combined for nearly 5,000 yards passing and another 2,000 yards on the ground.
South changes defense after last year’s loss
After being thrashed 41-7 last year by the North, the South is hoping to rise again as it prepares for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game set for 7 p.m. at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
On defense, those plans will evolve around the change in defensive schemes that has been instituted with teams now required to run a 4-3.
North defense happy to get back to contact as Lantzy game approaches
It’s been a while since organized live contact on the football field has been a concern for anyone suiting up to play in Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
Talking to members of the North defensive unit, that long wait came with a satisfying end on Monday when teams went into contact drills in the week-long preparations for the 44th edition of the region’s football showcase.
- More High School Sports Headlines
- McCort pitcher wins May Award